The Progressive Caucus of the City Council–a bloc of 12 members elected with the support of the Working Families Party–is out with a statement today reiterating their call for Mayor Mike Bloomberg to institute a tax on the city’s wealthiest in light of Albany budget that will greatly reduce New York City’s operating expenses.
“We appreciate the mayor’s outrage. We’re outraged too, and want to work together toward a solution,” they write. “We urge Mayor Bloomberg to keep the millionaire’s tax for New York City. If Albany won’t look out for the over 1.8 million New Yorkers who live below the poverty line, the one-third of city residents who rely on Medicaid, the 17,000 children who stand to lose daycare, and the one out of every four working New Yorkers who rely on food stamps — then we must.”
Mayor Bloomberg has said that millionaire’s tax would encourage the city’s top taxpayers to flee to less burdensome locales. Gov. Cuomo was pressured to continue a surcharge on the state’s upper-income earners, but even though a few Senate Republicans signaled their support, he ruled out any kind of tax increases.
The members of the Progressive Caucus point out that Wall Streeters earned $20.8 billion in cash bonuses last year and close to 70 percent of voters favor the tax.
“We appreciate Mayor Bloomberg’s outrage at the prospect of making even deeper cuts to New York City’s budget than previously anticipated, and we join the mayor in his indignation at the state budget’s inequitable treatment of New York City. Our proposal would still require Albany’s approval, but if Mayor Bloomberg would stand with us and advocate for the tax — as part of New York City’s budget, in the coming months — we know it could be done,” they write.