05-01-20, Albany — The Green Party of New York today — May Day — said that the crippling austerity of $10 billion in cuts proposed by Governor Cuomo to offset $13.3 billion in lost revenue due to the COVID-19 crisis should be offset by a halt to rebating of the Stock Transfer Tax.
Green officials said the Stock Transfer Tax, a miniscule tax on stock transactions, routinely generates $13-$15 billion a year in revenue that New York has rebated to brokers since 1981. They concluded that if the state refused to collect the stock transfer tax, a modest tax on the state’s 112 billionaires could also easily close the budget gap.
Party leaders said that rather than make savage cuts to state and local government programs the state could move quickly to stabilize the budget without the need to pass any new tax legislation, and that the choice of the Cuomo administration and State Legislature to not do so exposed the class warfare in allowing programs used by working class New Yorkers to be decimated rather than slightly inconvenience their campaign donors.
“Repeal the Stock Transfer Tax Rebate and collect $13-$15 billion a year - it’s as simple as that, and there’s already a bill in the Legislature (A07791-A/S06203) to do just that. The yawning $13.3 billion revenue gap would be closed immediately. Or place a modest tax on New York’s 112 billionaires. It is unconscionable, though not surprising, that Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature would be willing to oversee deep austerity rather than collect a small tax on Wall Street and the 1%. They already rammed Medicaid cuts into the budget in the middle of this pandemic, rolled back bail reforms, and refused to discuss any relief for renters or small landlords, or on utilities payments,” said Gloria Mattera, GPNY co-chair.
“Cuomo is applying the neoliberal shock doctrine playbook: use an external crisis to cut and privatize needed government services rather than protecting or expanding the social safety net by taxing the wealthy. 1.4 million people have filed for unemployment in New York over the last five weeks - Great Depression levels. New York State may now cut $8.2 billion in aid to localities, which would cause massive layoffs, disruption in education and needed programs, and collapse entire local economies even further. On top of this Cuomo put Bill Mulrow from the Blackstone Group and Stephen M. Cohen from MacAndrews and Forbes - private equity vulture firms - in charge of economic recovery; we can see already that he’s salivating to sell off public services to finance capital,” said co-chair Peter LaVenia.
“As we honor workers this May Day, the Green Party instead calls for a response that empowers the working class of New York and takes the class struggle to the doorstep of the wealthy. Collect the stock transfer tax, invest in a Green New Deal to put 1.4 million people back to work in good public jobs and transition the state to a renewable economy, and raise taxes on the billionaires and the 1% so that we can not only fund the government agencies and programs we need today, but build a strong, eco-socialist New York for the future,” concluded LaVenia.