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Survey: 97% Say Protect Vital Services by Ending Preferential Tax Treatment
for Private Equity, Hedge Funds & Banks

Cuts to Education, Seniors, Runaway Youth and Libraries
At Top of List of Cuts to Prevent

97% of New Yorkers polled think the city should balance the budget by protecting vital services like education, police, fire and the social safety net, and asking a little more from those who can afford to pay more by eliminating preferential tax treatment, according to a survey conducted by the Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council.

The survey, which received over 750 responses in the course of one week, gathered feedback about the New York City budget for Fiscal Year 2013 from constituents and allies.  Only 3% of those surveyed favored balancing the budget through cuts to essential services in order to avoid raising taxes on high-income individuals, banks and corporations based in New York City.

There was overwhelming support for several options to raise revenue in order to prevent cuts to essential services:

  • Closing a loophole in business taxes, known as the carried interest exemption, for partners at private equity companies and hedge funds so they are taxed like regular business income by the City.  This revenue option would raise approximately $200 million for the city.
  • An end to future subsidies to four major banks who failed to create 19,000 jobs out of a promised 33,000 in exchange for a collective subsidy of $783 million, a measure that would bring in $100 million in revenue.

These options far outweighed the popularity of a proposed revenue option in Mayor Bloomberg’s preliminary budget that would charge non-profit organization a fee for trash pickup that is currently provided free of charge.

According to the survey, New Yorkers are most concerned about the following proposed cuts in the Mayor’s preliminary budget:

  • Scaling back senior services such as transportation, elder abuse services and home attendants;
  • Reducing 2,750 teaching positions through attrition which would continue the trend of increased class sizes and more elementary school students in classes of 30 or more students;
  • Eliminating 159 of 251 shelter beds for runaway and homeless youth while reducing drop-in and street outreach services;
  • Closing 40 library branches, significantly reducing library hours to 2-3 day service, and laying off 1,830 library workers;
  • Cutting 2,300 slots in Out-of-School Time, an academic & recreational program that operates after school, during school holidays and in the summer.

The Progressive Caucus stands with the people of New York to say that we must pursue sustainable, long-term revenue options to balance the budget rather than continuing to slash vital services. We hope to see this sentiment reflected in the Mayor’s Executive Budget tomorrow.

The complete results of the survey are available here.


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