The Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council hails passage today by the Council’s Finance Committee, with the support of Speaker Quinn, of a resolution sponsored by Caucus members calling for progressive tax reform in Albany to provide adequate revenue to create jobs and prevent harmful cuts to education, health care and other essential services.
This resolution was initially introduced in June by Councilmembers Jumaane Williams, Brad Lander, and other Progressive Caucus members, calling for an extension of the “millionaire’s tax” as a way to prevent further cuts to daycare, afterschool programs, fire companies, libraries and schools.
The Progressive Caucus has consistently argued that this is not a moment when New York can afford to give a $5 billion dollar tax break targeted to millionaires and billionaires. The wealthiest 1% of New Yorkers have seen their share of the city’s income grow from 10% in 1980 to 45% today. Yet, despite earning 45 percent of the city’s income, the wealthiest 1% of households pay only 34% of city taxes. Meanwhile, the tax burden on low-income and middle-class New Yorkers has grown.
We’re pleased that shifts in the political climate — brought about in large part through organizing and mobilization — has brought many others on board with the need for progressive tax reform and is having a direct impact on public policy.
The details of a final package still need to be negotiated in Albany. We urge Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature to reach a deal quickly that provides adequate revenue to create jobs and stave off additional cuts to programs New Yorkers rely on, and to do it through a graduated structure that promotes tax fairness.