A New York state supreme court judge has ruled that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's controversial payroll mobility tax is unconstitutional.
Judge R. Bruce Cozzens on Wednesday said the tax "does not serve a substantial state interest" and therefore needed home rule messages, which allows the state to engage in local matters.
The tax charges employers in the metro region 34 cents for every $100 of payroll. It was passed in 2009 to avert service cuts as the MTA faced a record deficit.
The ruling was a victory for Nassau County which had filed suit against the state legislature for enacting the tax.
The MTA, which operates the Long Island and Metro-North railroads, and the New York City transit system, says it "will vigorously appeal" the ruling.