Tax the 1%

New York State has the highest concentration of billionaires in the world, yet NYS also has the worst income inequality in the country. Governor Andrew Cuomo has continually relied on austerity and denied levying taxes on the top 1% of the state that could fund programs that millions of New Yorkers rely on, such as public education, public housing, health care, and transportation. Not only would a fair tax system reduce the poverty seen in NYS, it would also address the issues of environmental justice in our communities that have continually been ignored. 

 

In NYS, billionaires receive tax breaks while millions of people lack sufficient housing, jobs, and clean air and water. We call for a tax reform to fund essential services as well as the mandates of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which puts NYS on a path to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that affect the lower income communities the hardest. 

 

This year, over 150 student, labor, environmental, activist, and religious organizations -- including the New York Youth Climate Leaders -- came together to form the Invest in Our New York coalition. Together, we fought against austerity measures and called on New York to pass the Invest in Our New York Act. And we won. In the 2021 budget, New York State raised $4.3 billion in progressive annual revenue in the following ways:

 

  • For New Yorkers earning more than $1 million (or $2 million in joint filings): increased income tax rates (from 8.82% to 9.65%)

  • Creation of new tax brackets for people who make between $5 million and $25 million (10.3%), and those making over $25 million (10.9%)

  • Increased corporate tax rates: to 7.25% from 6.5% (except for small businesses)

  • To fund excluded workers: over $2 billion raised

  • Foundation Aid to fund public schools: over $4 billion raised

  • Rental assistance and eviction protections for tenants: over $2 billion raised

  • Rental assistance and relief for small businesses: $1 billion raised