WOODBURY - Long Island lawmakers are heralding a judge's decision that found the controversial MTA payroll tax unconstitutional, but the MTA is vowing to appeal the ruling. A state judge threw out the payroll tax yesterday on the grounds that it didn't serve "substantial state interest," and should have required a two-thirds vote in both the state Senate and Assembly before being enacted. The tax took effect in 2009 and has charged employers in the MTA region 34 cents for every $100 spent on payroll. Municipalities all over the state, including Nassau and Suffolk counties, have fought the tax tooth-and-nail, arguing that it discourages hiring and unfairly digs into the pockets of small businesses. According to MTA officials, the tax will continue to be collected while the agency appeals the judge's decision. If the ruling is upheld, the MTA says its riders can expect fare hikes and service reductions.Judge rules MTA payroll tax unconstitutional