The economy should work for working people, serving our communities–not a handful of billionaires. To achieve this, the state tax code must be reorganized to put power back in the hands of many.
A People’s Bailout
The same corporations that avoid taxes, work against our interests, and undermine our democracy also rely on massive public bailouts and tax breaks to make up for their shortcomings. Bailing people out directly is cheaper and more effective than through middlemen corporations.
- New York spends $10B annually between tax credits and corporate subsidies through Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs) granting Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILOT), which are often abused and are subject to little oversight. Not only must we audit these programs and create accountability and transparency, we must also directly invest in public goods and dramatically decrease our reliance on PILOTs. Tax breaks handed out to private corporations in District 103 have a weak track record on creating benefits our residents need.
- Even as shareholder profits dramatically increase, working people’s incomes stagnate. In District 103, the minimum wage does not pay enough to continue living here. In the short term, we must tie the state’s minimum wage to inflation by passing (A7111). In the long term, we must create good jobs that are not reliant on the idea of minimum wage.
Fair & Just Taxation
New York State is the 10th largest economy in the world, yet it puts the burden on low and middle-income residents with a regressive tax system that taxes an average New Yorker the same rate as the wealthy. We must instead tax the rich and fund our services, such as childcare, education, healthcare, and affordable utilities, which would reduce expenses and hardships for New Yorkers and improve the quality of our lives.
- In a state that generates as much wealth as New York does, there’s no reason working class people shouldn’t see their lives improved by it. To create an economy where wealth is not hoarded by a few, and is instead circulated to robustly fund our public sector, we need to pass:
- A Progressive Income Tax, which increases state taxes for the top 5% of New Yorkers who earn $300k or more annually. Currently, New Yorkers making between $21k and $1 million pay about the same tax rate.
- A Capital Gains Tax, which corrects for the unfair advantage investors have from a low tax rate on gains realized by selling stock.
- A Mark-to-Market Tax, which taxes capital gains as investments accrue value, not when the gains are realized, meaning that collection of these taxes are not deferred years after the value of assets increase.
- An Inheritance Tax, which taxes large transfers of money between generations so wealth isn’t concentrated in fewer and fewer hands by keeping it from recirculating in the economy.
- And a Corporate Tax, which restores the taxes on corporations’ profits that were federally lowered under the Trump administration.
- The financial sector plays an outsized role in New York’s economy, yet it has largely been untaxed for the last 40 years. We can impose a small tax on the transfer of stocks, bonds, and derivatives by passing The Wall Street Financial Taxation Act so that investors and hedge funds can no longer freely benefit from the state’s economic growth without contributing to the welfare of all its residents.
Private banking has always existed to serve private interests. Not only do many working people face discrimination and are excluded from services and benefits, but the private banking infrastructure is not designed to be able to fund our public goods.
- Give local governments the ability to establish and control public banks by passing the NY Public Banking Act, which would allow localities to leverage public money to support economic development, including affordable housing, green jobs, equitable financial services, and more.