Friday, March 28, 2008

To Close NY's Budget Gap, Tax Trump

Or At Least Insist That Millionaires Pay Their Fair Share

If you think the Donald should rant less about his money and pay more of it into the State's coffers, raise your hands.

As we suspected.

This blog post isn't about Donald Trump -- we've said enough about his antics here, and, frankly, would be delighted if we saw less of what his money can buy, at Jones Beach, and elsewhere on our Long Island -- but it is about tax dollars, the budget gap, and the burgeoning State deficit (which we can't blame on Trump, as we can on those who have spent our money as if it literally grew on trees).

As New York's April 1st budget deadline looms (anybody want to take bets?), the question becomes, "how do we cut spending without eliminating services or scaling back on much needed aid to health care, education, and basic quality of life concerns?"

One group -- New Yorkers For Fiscal Fairness -- has a few ideas. You've heard the radio spots. Now, perhaps, its time to take a closer look.

One proposal that's been bantered about but never seems to grab hold (probably because those who make the decisions too often fall into this privileged class) -- Tax the millionaires to keep the ship afloat and save the fiscally overburdened working and middle classes.

Now, we don't think for a minute that The Donald would take a hankering to paying more in taxes -- or at least his fair share -- but hey, haven't the rest of us, sans the benefit of tax loopholes and the capacity to set up off-shore accounts, been carrying these folks for far too long (and paying proportionately more of our incomes than the wealthy as our share of the tax burden)?

We think so.

What follows are a few of the recommendations set forth by New Yorkers For Fiscal Equity.

Mind you, we, at The Community Alliance, do not necessarily endorse any or all of the espoused positions, but surely, at least a few of them are most worthy of the Legislature's and the Governor's consideration.

Who could argue, after all, that New Yorkers wouldn't benefit from competitive drug pricing or a bigger, better bottle bill?

And if the adoption of any of the suggested remedies should lead to The Donald having to shed a few more of his many beloved dollars in favor of the people of the State of New York, well, we can certainly live with that.
- - -
From New Yorkers For Fiscal Fairness:

To grow New York’s economy we must invest in New York’s working families.

A healthy state economy requires well-educated New Yorkers, safe communities, affordable health care, affordable housing and a sound transportation infrastructure.

In recent decades, state budget policies have placed increasing pressure on local property taxes and local sales taxes.

And the state government then came to the rescue with a program that provides rebate checks to all homeowners, regardless of need, and not enough to those who are truly overburdened by the increases in local taxes.

The Governor and the Legislature must work together to ensure that the 2008-09 state budget is fair to New York’s families by balancing the state budget in an equitable manner that makes the state tax system fairer and begins to actually reduce the pressure on the local property and sales tax bases rather than shifting more of the tax burden onto the backs of low and middle income New Yorkers.

We can promote tax fairness, strengthen local economies and help struggling families by:
Creating a Tax System that is FAIR to all New Yorkers: The wealthiest New Yorkers’ pay a much smaller percentage of their incomes in state and local taxes than low and middle income working families. Seniors on fixed incomes, working families and young couples are among the New Yorkers who suffer from the inequities in the current state-local tax structure. New York’s policymakers must take the pressure off the property tax by restoring some of the income tax system’s lost progressivity and closing corporate tax loopholes that allow some of the nation’s largest corporations to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.

Strengthening Local Communities:
Rather than putting increased pressure on the local property and sales tax bases and then providing “relief” to local taxpayers in the form of state rebate checks, New York State policymakers must work together to reduce the pressure on local property and sales tax bases by restoring the state’s commitment to “revenue sharing” with its local governments and having the state government take over a greater share of local education and healthcare costs. And the state’s STAR programs must be targeted to provide adequate relief to those families that are most in need.

It’s time for New York State to end the special treatment of the favored few by:

-Closing loopholes that allow large, profitable corporations to avoid paying their fair share of state taxes.

-Stopping sweetheart deals with high-priced consultants who are being overpaid to do jobs that state workers can do better and cheaper.

-Lowering drug prices for state and local governments by using New York’s purchasing power to get a fair deal from the drug companies.

-Reforming economic development programs by improving the effectiveness and accountability of Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs), the Brownfield Clean Up Program (BCP) and the Empire Zones program.

-Enacting the Bigger, Better Bottle Bill and making the beverage bottling industry return unclaimed bottle deposits.

-Making New York's tax system fairer and more equitable by increasing the top marginal tax rates on the highest income households.

No comments:

Post a Comment