Progressive Tax Reform

PROGRESSIVE TAX REFORM
Take the Rich Off Welfare to Erase the Deficit and
Fund Jobs, Schools, Homes, the Environment, and Local Governments
Stop Rebating the Stock Transfer Tax
Enact a More Progressive Income Tax
Share State Revenues with Counties, Municipalities, and Schools
The revenues are there if the rich pay their fair share:
Projected State Budget: $135 billion
Projected Deficit Gap: $9 billion
Progressive Tax Reforms to Increase Revenue:
Stock Transfer Tax: $16 billion
Restoration of Progressive Income Tax: $7.7 billion
Surplus for Public Investment in Jobs, Public Services, and Green Economy: $15 billion
Under the principle of progressive taxation, there are other reforms we support, including a special tax on Wall Street bonuses, a soda tax dedicated to nutrition programs, and a carbon tax to create more stable and efficient market incentives for clean energy than Wall Street sponsored cap-and-trade schemes.
But the big items we emphasize here show that we can meet New Yorkers' public service needs through progressive taxation rather than by cutting spending as the major parties propose, which means taking education away from school children, jobs away from workers, health care away from the sick, food and shelter away from poor people, and, generally, stimulus and recovery away from the real economy of labor and production.
The state budget faces $10 billion a year deficits projected for next several years. The major party candidates want to cut public services, especially public schools and colleges, health care, and the safety net. That is the worst approach to ending the recession.
New York's budget deficit is, in large part, attributable to the successive rounds of multi-year, back-loaded tax cut packages that were adopted between 1994 and 2000, and which are now reducing state revenues by about $20 billion annually.
We want to create a progressive tax structure that makes the rich pay their fair share.
We say we believe in the work ethic, but under today's state tax structure, we tax income earned by work at higher levels than unearned income from financial securities. Poor, working, and middle class people pay higher taxes than rich people when income, sales, and property taxes are added together.
Stock Transfer Tax: We can erase the state deficits of $10 billion a year by keeping the $16 billion stock transfer tax that the state now automatically rebates to stock traders. The stock transfer tax is a sliding scale tax that amounts to a penny to nickel per trade. It was enacted in 1907 and the state kept the proceeds until 1981 when it decided to rebate the tax to stock traders. After receiving trillions of dollars of taxpayer money to bail them out over the last two years, it is time for Wall Street to pull its own weight in taxes.
Progressive Personal Income Tax: We can raise another $7.7 billion a year by restoring the personal income tax structure New York had in the 1970s, with 14 graduated brackets ranging from 2 percent lowest bracket to 15 percent in the highest. Since then, New York has flattened the state income tax and shifted more of the tax burden onto regressive property and sales taxes. If New York indexed these tax brackets and personal exemptions to the cost of living today, we would cut income taxes for 95 percent of New Yorkers while  the state would collect $7.7 billion more in tax revenues each year.
State Revenue Sharing: State law requires the state to share 8 percent of its revenues with counties and municipalities. But every year the legislature writes an exemption to this law and keeps the local share for itself. We support state budgets that keep the revenue sharing promise in order to help local governments and relieve their regressive sales and property taxes. Keeping to the 8 percent law would increase aid to local government by 400 percent.
Economic Renewal: Progressive tax reform is not only be more fair and just. It is also good for economic renewal.
The rich are hoarding cash and financial assets instead of investing in productive enterprises and extending credit to small businesses and consumers. By making the rich pay their fair share of taxes, we will have increased tax revenues from the financial elite that we can use for public investment in a revitalized public sector and a new green economy.
We will have the funds to initiate a jobs for all program in public works and services. There is plenty of work to do. We have too many unmet needs that the private sector has proven itself incapable of meeting, from a green reconstruction of sustainable water, sewage, energy, transportation, and housing infrastructure to providing education, child care, health care, and elder care commensurate to our people's real needs.
More information:
Fiscal Policy Institute: www.fiscalpolicy.org
Take the Rich Off Welfare to Erase the Deficit and Fund Jobs, Schools, Homes, the Environment, and Local Governments

  • Stop Rebating the Stock Transfer Tax
  • Enact a More Progressive Income Tax
  • Share State Revenues with Counties, Municipalities, and Schools


The revenues are there if the rich pay their fair share:

Projected State Budget: $135 billion

Projected Deficit Gap: $9 billion

Progressive Tax Reforms to Increase Revenue:

Stock Transfer Tax: $16 billion

Restoration of Progressive Income Tax: $7.7 billion

Surplus for Public Investment in Jobs, Public Services, and Green Economy: $15 billion

 


Under the principle of progressive taxation, there are other reforms we support, including a special tax on Wall Street bonuses, a soda tax dedicated to nutrition programs, and a carbon tax to create more stable and efficient market incentives for clean energy than Wall Street sponsored cap-and-trade schemes.

 


But the big items we emphasize here show that we can meet New Yorkers' public service needs through progressive taxation rather than by cutting spending as the major parties propose, which means taking education away from school children, jobs away from workers, health care away from the sick, food and shelter away from poor people, and, generally, stimulus and recovery away from the real economy of labor and production.

 

The state budget faces $10 billion a year deficits projected for next several years. The major party candidates want to cut public services, especially public schools and colleges, health care, and the safety net. That is the worst approach to ending the recession.

 

New York's budget deficit is, in large part, attributable to the successive rounds of multi-year, back-loaded tax cut packages that were adopted between 1994 and 2000, and which are now reducing state revenues by about $20 billion annually.

 

We want to create a progressive tax structure that makes the rich pay their fair share.

 

We say we believe in the work ethic, but under today's state tax structure, we tax income earned by work at higher levels than unearned income from financial securities. Poor, working, and middle class people pay higher taxes than rich people when income, sales, and property taxes are added together.

 

Stock Transfer Tax: We can erase the state deficits of $10 billion a year by keeping the $16 billion stock transfer tax that the state now automatically rebates to stock traders. The stock transfer tax is a sliding scale tax that amounts to a penny to nickel per trade. It was enacted in 1907 and the state kept the proceeds until 1981 when it decided to rebate the tax to stock traders. After receiving trillions of dollars of taxpayer money to bail them out over the last two years, it is time for Wall Street to pull its own weight in taxes.


Progressive Personal Income Tax: We can raise another $7.7 billion a year by restoring the personal income tax structure New York had in the 1970s, with 14 graduated brackets ranging from 2 percent lowest bracket to 15 percent in the highest. Since then, New York has flattened the state income tax and shifted more of the tax burden onto regressive property and sales taxes. If New York indexed these tax brackets and personal exemptions to the cost of living today, we would cut income taxes for 95 percent of New Yorkers while  the state would collect $7.7 billion more in tax revenues each year.


State Revenue Sharing: State law requires the state to share 8 percent of its revenues with counties and municipalities. But every year the legislature writes an exemption to this law and keeps the local share for itself. We support state budgets that keep the revenue sharing promise in order to help local governments and relieve their regressive sales and property taxes. Keeping to the 8 percent law would increase aid to local government by 400 percent.


Economic Renewal: Progressive tax reform is not only be more fair and just. It is also good for economic renewal. 


The rich are hoarding cash and financial assets instead of investing in productive enterprises and extending credit to small businesses and consumers. By making the rich pay their fair share of taxes, we will have increased tax revenues from the financial elite that we can use for public investment in a revitalized public sector and a new green economy. 


We will have the funds to initiate a jobs for all program in public works and services. There is plenty of work to do. We have too many unmet needs that the private sector has proven itself incapable of meeting, from a green reconstruction of sustainable water, sewage, energy, transportation, and housing infrastructure to providing education, child care, health care, and elder care commensurate to our people's real needs.


More information:
Fiscal Policy Institute: www.fiscalpolicy.org

Additional information