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Issues

Fair State Budget

To build a Strong Economy for All, we’ve got to make sure state government has the right resources and the right priorities.

NEW YORK STATE BUDGETS: MORE AUSTERITY OR SHARED PROSPERITY?

Over the past two years, Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature have cut billions of dollars and thousands of jobs from the state budget, delaying New York’s recovery from the recession and economic meltdown caused by the Wall Street collapse.

The number-one category for lost jobs every month here in New York is state and local government — teachers, firefighters, bus drivers and afterschool instructors keep getting laid off, and our cities, towns and neighborhoods continue to lose the good, stable middle-class jobs that are the backbone of every local economy.

Austerity doesn’t work — it’s not working in Europe, and it’s not working in New York.

There is an alternative — closing corporate tax loopholes and fair-share taxes on millionaires and billionaires would allow New York to invest in our future and create the jobs we need now.

MILLIONAIRES, BILLIONAIRES AND THE 1% — PAY YOUR FAIR SHARE!

Governor Cuomo and the Legislature did right by New Yorkers last year when they made the Personal Income Tax more progressive and more fair with a new Millionaires Tax and middle-class tax cuts.

But it’s clear that the very wealthy in New York aren’t paying their fair share — and they’re not paying anything like the top rates they paid during our nation’s greatest period of shared prosperity after World War II.

New York needs a tax structure that is fair, provides enough revenue to fund essential and effective government services, helps the middle class, and works to revive our economy and create jobs.

We need good schools and healthcare, strong local government and human services, affordable quality higher education, good transportation systems and an effective and dignified safety net for vulnerable New Yorkers.

Harsh cuts in all of these areas have cost our state hundreds of thousands of jobs in recent years while damaging the daily lives of millions. We can’t afford more austerity budgets that hurt the vast majority of New Yorkers.

Meanwhile, the income of wealthy New Yorkers has risen dramatically — in the last 30 years, the income of the top 1% in our state has gone up 500% while that of the bottom 50% has gone down 13%. The top 1% of New Yorkers can afford to pay more in taxes, and most of them recognize it.

We support the “Tax the 1%” plan developed by the Fiscal Policy Institute — it’s a straightforward plan that would add new tax brackets at incomes of $665,000, $1 million, $5 million and $10 million per year of income.

The “Tax the 1%” proposal would bring in between $4.4 billion and $5.1 billion per year in revenue that could help fund the schools, services and safety net that have been cut so harshly in recent years, while allowing us to invest in infrastructure, roads and bridges and clean energy upgrades that will pay dividends for decades to come.

The FPI proposal is consistent with the principles laid out in Governor Cuomo’s statement on tax reform, will provide the resources our communities need to revive and rebuild, and will allow our state to move forward with a stronger, fairer foundation for our common future.

CORPORATE TAX LOOPHOLES — CLOSE ‘EM!

The Strong Economy For All Coalition and our partners at 99% New York recommend closing a billion dollars worth of corporate tax loopholes to raise money for the state budget and make our tax system more effective and more fair. Our recommendations include:

• Stronger tax enforcement for real estate partnerships that under-report or misreport income to avoid taxes;

• A stronger reformed Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax to assure payment of some taxes by all corporations making annual gross profits over $5 million;

• A “throwback” or “throw-out” rule to prevent multistate corporations from claiming “Nowhere Income” that can’t be taxed by any state;

• Amendment of the New York City Unincorporated Business Tax to include “carried interest” profits earned by hedge funds and private equity firms;

• Amendment of the New York State Nonresident Personal Income Tax to cover “carried interest” as income, not tax-free capital gains;

• A progressive schedule of LLC fees (and equivalent fees for investment partnerships) with a focus on the biggest firms and elimination of tax avoidance schemes through shifts in corporate structure;

• Required corporate tax payment disclosure for publicly traded firms subject to taxation under 9-A and 32 and any successor taxes.
Governor Cuomo and the Legislature did right by New Yorkers in 2011 when they made State income taxes more progressive and more fair with a new Millionaires Tax and middle-class tax cuts.

We need to keep it going: reform corporate taxes to close loopholes and stop the special deals for big business and the 1%, and reform the personal income tax system to make it progressive, effective and fair.

New York doesn’t have to cut programs for the poor, slash pensions for workers, stop services for seniors and cut colleges if we can close corporate loopholes, enforce tax laws, and reform the personal income tax code instead.

The Strong Economy For All Coalition supports a New York that works for everyone — not just for millionaires, billionaires and the 1%. Fair taxes and fair budgets are an essential element in getting our state out of austerity and moving towards shared prosperity for all.