New York City considering online shopping fee amid pandemic

New York City is considering an online shopping fee to buoy expenses needed to run the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

A bill proposed by New York State assemblyman , (D-Brooklyn) would subject all online shopping to a $3 per box charge, with the exception of necessities including food, medicine and diapers, according to NBC 4.

Carroll estimated that the proposal would bring in an extra $1.5 billion a year to help “to fund the operating costs of buses and subways in the city of New York.”

“We need to save the MTA,” he said, according to WCBS 880. “We need to save our city.”

In August, the MTA threatened to adopt a “doomsday” plan for budget cuts without financial assistance from the federal government to keep public transit in New York City running, according to The New York Times. The authority said that it would have to cut services in New York by 40 percent if it didn’t get the billions of dollars in resources it says it needs to stay afloat. 

According to the Times, the MTA is facing an over $16 billion deficit through 2024. 

The state lawmaker said that the bill would also encourage city residents to shop local and cut down on the amount of delivery trucks and waste created from online retailers.

“Christmas doesn’t come just once a year, it comes every single day,” Carroll said of the piles of boxes he’s noticed around the city, including at his own apartment building.

In a joint op-ed with John Samuelsen, International President of the Transport Workers Union, Carroll argued that “A delivery surcharge will also undoubtedly encourage consumers, and the Amazons of the world, to more regularly consolidate multiple items into a single package for delivery.”

Democratic Rep. (N.Y.) tweeted her thoughts on the proposal on Tuesday, calling on lawmakers to tax wealthy corporations that have profited from the pandemic instead.

During the pandemic, online retailers such as Amazon, Walmart and Target have seen substantial gains as the threat of coronavirus has forced Americans indoors. 


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