NYSUT joined dozens of the state’s leading progressive advocacy groups, unions, community-based organizations and faith leaders this week to demand that the state Legislature reject proposals to provide $1.1 billion in tax breaks to millionaires and Wall Street banks. To do so would simply exacerbate income inequality in New York, which bears the widest gap between rich and poor in the country.
The coalition’s “#NYInequality” budget campaign targets two tax giveaways that were in the Executive Budget proposal:
• a $750 million reduction in the estate tax, which is only paid by people making more than a million dollars a year; and
• a $350 million tax break for Wall Street banks.
“It is incomprehensible to be talking about more than a billion dollars in tax cuts to benefit the 1 percent,” said NYSUT President Dick Iannuzzi. “We are proud to be part of this coalition fighting for a renewed investment in public schools, colleges and health care facilities, and against more tax avoidance for the super-wealthy.”
NYSUT Executive Vice President Andy Pallotta joined coalition leaders outside the state Senate chamber as they delivered a letter and outlined their demands for legislative leaders.
“Child poverty and homelessness are at record-high levels throughout the state,” said Pallotta. “If New York is too broke to fund education increases that are needed just to maintain current programs, how can the executive budget seriously consider a $750 million reduction in a tax only paid by millionaires and billionaires?
“And, instead of lowering taxes for the big banks that crashed the economy and ruined the lives of so many New Yorkers, the Legislature should reject what amounts to a $350 million a year giveaway to Wall Street banks.”