February 2, 2016

Advocates Voice Support for Assembly Majority's Tax Proposal to Strengthen New York's Working Families

Earlier today, Speaker Carl Heastie and Ways and Means Committee Chair Herman D. Farrell, Jr. announced a multi-pronged tax proposal (A.9179) that would provide much needed tax relief for the middle class and the state's lowest earning families while generating over $1 billion in yearly revenue.

Below are some of the reactions to Speaker Heastie's announcement:

Ron Deutsch, interim executive director of Fiscal Policy Institute:

"The Assembly Majority proposal is a welcome way to expand the number of tax brackets to better reflect the reality of income polarization in New York. Currently, the wealthiest New Yorkers pay a smaller share of their income in combined state and local taxes than middle-class and low-income New Yorkers. That's not fair, it's not right, and it's not smart tax policy. Considering that the average incomes of the top one percent have grown so much faster than incomes for other New Yorkers, this is a very appropriate time to ask the top one percent to pay their fair share, to help New York invest in schools, anti-poverty initiatives, and sorely needed upgrading of our infrastructure. The proposal is reasonable, fair, and long overdue, and we heartily applaud the increase in the state's earned income tax credit. The Fiscal Policy Institute released its own progressive income tax proposal today along broadly similar lines. The plans both serve as the basis to begin a robust discussion about the fairness of our overall tax structure."

Billy Easton, executive director of Alliance for Quality Education:

"New York State has a long history of being a progressive leader in the nation and Speaker Heastie and the Assembly Majority are taking that progressive mantle with this proposal for a millionaire's tax. The state needs revenues to invest fairly in our schools and communities and to tackle child and family poverty. The Assembly's millionaire's tax proposal is an important step towards fulfilling that agenda."

Michael Kink, executive director of Strong Economy for All Coalition:

"Speaker Heastie and the Assembly Majority are demonstrating real progressive leadership on fair-share taxes. Incomes have soared for New York's millionaires and billionaires, and they can afford to pay a little more to fund the good schools, affordable housing, good-paying jobs and clean-energy infrastructure our state needs. And we'll help household budgets across the state with a boost in the Earned Income Tax Credit and a middle-class tax cut. It's a recipe for economic fairness and broader prosperity." Teresa Quiroz, member of Make the Road New York and mother of three residing in Brooklyn, issued the following statement on behalf of the organization's 19,000 members: "This proposal is a big part of what working parents in New York like me need from our State government: asking billionaires and millionaires to pay their fair share so that New York can finally provide our families with access to the high-quality schools that our children deserve. We thank the Speaker and the Assembly for taking this important step."

Jonathan Westin, executive director of New York Communities for Change:

"We applaud Speaker Heastie and the Assembly on their proposal to rein in billionaires in New York by taxing the top taxpayers, so that families across NY can have access to quality public schools and universities. If enacted by the Governor and the Senate, this proposal would cut taxes for the neediest by asking millionaires and billionaires to pay more -- which makes common sense."