ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A controversial payroll tax for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has survived another round in court.

New York’s Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, declined Tuesday to hear a challenge to the commuter tax, letting the tax stand in downstate counties.

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The Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court in June rejected a constitutional challenge led by Nassau County to the tax, which helps the region’s railroads, subways and buses. The top court denied a motion to appeal.

The tax was passed in 2009 to avert service cuts as the MTA faced a record deficit. Local officials say the tax is bad for business.

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A spokesman for Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said Tuesday the lawsuit has already resulted in the state eliminating the tax for thousands of small businesses in 2011.

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