The state’s highest court will not hear a challenge to a lower court’s unanimous ruling that found the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s payroll tax on employers in its 12-county region is legal.

Without comment, the Court of Appeals said Tuesday that it denied leave to appeal to Nassau County and the 21 other municipalities which challenged the tax in 2010, the year after the state Legislature enacted it.

The court denied the motion in Mangano v. Silver, 2013-1154.

The tax imposes a 34-cent surcharge on each $100 of payroll from employers in the MTA region. The authority said the tax generates $1.2 billion a year.

Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cozzens (See Profile) declared the tax unconstitutional in 2012, finding that municipal governments in the MTA region had to approve it under the concept of “home rule.”

Cozzens’ ruling was overturned last year by an Appellate Division, Second Department panel, which determined that local government approval of the tax was not needed before the state Legislature acted (NYLJ, June 27).