Defending De Blasio’s Tax-The-Rich Plan (Updated)
Two news reports in the past three days have thrown cold water on one of the central themes of NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s progressive mayoral platform: Making wealthy Big Apple residents pay more to fund pre-K and after-school programs.
On Monday, the Daily News’ Ken Lovett cited unnamed Albany “insiders” saying de Blasio’s proposal – which requires approval from the Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo – would be a non-starter in an election year.
And this morning, the New York Times reported on several ”obstacles” standing in the way of de Blasio’s idea, and also revealed the candidate’s aides had been forced to admit the tax increase he initially floated – raising the NYC rate to 4.4 percent, from 3.87 percent on income over $500,000 – would have to be higher in order to fully fund his goals.
Also, de Blasio’s desire to raise taxes runs directly counter to the governor’s pledge (reportedly made at a recent fund-raiser) that he will seek to reduce taxes in the 2014-15 budget.
Today, the de Blasio campaign released an open letter to his chief Democratic primary rival, NYC Council Speaker Chris Quinn, in which a handful of liberal-leaning NYC state lawmakers expressed confidence that Albany would be able to pass de Blasio’s tax-the-rich plan.
In the letter, Senators Liz Krueger, James Sanders and Bill Perkins and Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda wrote:
“We need leadership that is not afraid to push for bold ideas for our city’s children and future. If this means fighting in Albany for New York City’s right to increase taxes on the wealthy, we are eager for that challenge. And as history shows, it’s a challenge that is certainly achievable. Each of the past three mayors have fought for and won personal income tax increases to address critical challenges facing our city.”
“As members of the New York State Legislature, we all stand ready to proudly sponsor Bill de Blasio’s plan to raise the city income tax on those making more than $500,000 – and we are confident Albany will pass it. We hope you will join us in fighting for a bold solution that can actually begin to address the crisis in our public education system.”
Also, the 25,000-member Communication Workers of America District 1, which endorsed de Blasio back in May, is out with a series of mailers that highlight the public advocate’s push for the wealthy to “pay their fair share” so the city can have “universal” pre-K.
The union is also mailing its members on behalf of its other two endorsed citywide candidates, Brooklyn Councilwoman Tish James, who is running to replace de Blasio as public advocate; and Manhattan BP Scott Stringer, who is running for comptroller.
“CWA works hard for candidates who stand up for working people, not those who cozy up to corporate interests and the rich,” said Pete Sikora, CWA 1′s state legislative and political director.
“For us, it’s about the issues and their records. That’s why we are supporting Bill de Blasio, Tish James and Scott Stringer. Not all of our candidates win, of course, but we’ve pushed many important elections over the top.”
UPDATE: The following statement just appeared in my in-box from Bill Thompson’s campaign manager Jonathan Prince:
“Bill de Blasio’s pretend pre-k proposal is funded with money that doesn’t exist from taxes he can’t raise. Lining up a couple of legislators doesn’t turn his fantasy into reality. According to news reports, the Governor wants to cut taxes, not raise them. Mr. de Blasio needs to stop misleading voters with proposals he can’t deliver and promises he can’t keep.”
UPDATE2: Also, de Blasio himself shrugged off the suggestion that his plan will never fly in Albany, and insisted it will pass both houses of the Legislature, regardless of who controls the Senate after the 2014 elections.
|Print article||This entry was posted by Liz Benjamin on August 29, 2013 at 3:08 pm, and is filed under Albany, Democrats, Downstate NY, Uncategorized. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.|