ALBANY, NY – As New York deals with an estimated 14 billion dollar budget gap, there have been ongoing concerns over finances while the state continues to navigate through the economic effects of the pandemic.
NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has more on what some are calling for to alleviate the problem.
The state is fighting for federal funding to offset the issue. But, some say in addition to that, the state should raise taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers.
((Fred Kowal, UUP President)) The idea of taxing the wealthiest and utilizing that to inject money into an economy that desperately needs it, that’s the way to go.
United University Professions President Fred Kowal says in addition to federal funding, revenue raised from increasing taxes on ultra-millionaires and billionaires could be used to fund public education and healthcare.
In a statement yesterday Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said in part:
“We are all hurting and this crisis calls for multimillionaires and billionaires to help our state shoulder this extraordinary burden.”
Speaker Carl Heastie also tweeted “we must ask those New Yorkers that do very well to do a little bit more.”
UUP says a billionaires tax could generate $5 billion annually, and reducing or eliminating the the stock transfer tax could generate another $14 billion a year.
((Fred Kowal, UUP President)) We need to utilize basically every tool in our kit to try to generate revenue right now.
There’s also been concerns about the costs to safely re-open schools and universities.
The American Federation of Teachers has estimated that re-opening public schools nationwide will cost $116.5 billion.
And a recent New York State School Boards Association poll found 71 percent of board members polled said “they felt their district either could not safely open schools in accordance with state guidelines in the absence of additional state or federal funding.”
The Senate Majority Leader says a “revenue working group has been created” to develop proposals to address the budget issues.
Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt has called it a “tax hike working group” and says that a new tax will result in more people leaving the state.