New York City’s richest residents must be willing to “ stand up and help ” close the Big Apple’s $ 4.2 billion gaping deficit by paying higher taxes, Auditor Scott Stringer said.
The warning issued today comes just weeks after State Governor Andrew Cuomo made a desperate plea to urge the wealthiest residents to return to the city to save it from economic ruin.
Stringer told Bloomberg TV he believes the city could save $ 400 million from refinancing debt and a whopping $ 1 billion from efficiency improvements. The rich may have to pay “a little bit more to get us through this crisis,” he said.
“ People of great wealth have done a great job in the city for the past 10 or 20 years, they need to be prepared to act if necessary, to help out too when that happens, ” continued Stringer, running for mayor in 2021 .
“It seems reasonable that people of great wealth want to help this city in which they make money.”
New York City’s wealthiest residents must be willing to “stand up and help” close the Big Apple’s $ 4.2 billion gaping deficit by paying higher taxes, Inspector Scott Stringer said Tuesday.
New York City already has the unfavorable distinction of being the first in the nation for the highest combined burden of state and local income taxes, with an aggregate rate of 12.7 percent
Stringer also dismissed concerns that raising the tax on those in the top percentile would likely drive them out of New York for good.
He said people have fled many times over the years during various crises but inevitably return.
“There will be those who leave,” he said. Why risk your life going to Texas or Florida or any other place where you have governors who just ignore health and safety laws? You must be crazy to go there. ‘
While Governor Cuomo had long been reluctant to raise taxes on the wealthy, he appeared to have changed his tune late last week.
Cuomo said that if Washington DC does not provide additional crisis financing to offset the losses from the coronavirus pandemic, he will have no choice but to increase the burden on the already heavily taxed residents of New York.
“This will be a hole in the financial plan that is so big that it cannot be filled,” Cuomo said Thursday of the rising debt. ‘What would we do to fill it? Taxes, cuts, loans, early retirement [of government workers]. All of the above.’
According to the governor, that scenario only plays out when others are exhausted.
The ideal scenario would be for the federal government to provide assistance, Cuomo said, before adding that “Washington is doing absolutely nothing.”
The next-best option would be for the US government to increase taxes across the country so that New York is not at a competitive disadvantage compared to other states and cities, the Democratic governor added.
The warning comes just weeks after State Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a desperate appeal to urge the wealthiest residents to return to the city to help save it from economic ruin.
Cuomo’s new threats to impose taxes come as a stark reversal of his earlier warning that such a motion would put New York at a competitive disadvantage without states and lead to an exodus of high earners.
Governor expects a $ 30 billion deficit in the state over the next two years due to the deadly impact of COVID-19
New York City already has the unfavorable distinction of being the first in the nation for the highest combined burden of state and local income taxes, according to the Tax Foundation, at an aggregate rate of 12.7 percent.
That works out to an average annual hit of $ 2,877, the foundation said.
And just last month, the American Legislative Exchange Council ranked New York State’s economic outlook for the seventh consecutive year as the worst in the country, mainly because of heavy taxes.
Cuomo’s new threats to impose taxes come as a stark reversal of his earlier warning that such a motion would put New York at a competitive disadvantage over other states and lead to an exodus of high earners.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has been more outspoken in recent months on raising taxes for the wealthy
At the time, Cuomo even begged the wealthy to return to balance the Big Apple’s books.
New Yorkers have left the city in droves since the pandemic started. Between March 1 and May 1, more than 420,000 people fled, many of whom lived in the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods, including SoHo, the West Village and the Upper East Side.
By the end of June, more than 16,000 New Yorkers had permanently changed their addresses from NYC to an address in Connecticut.
The move was driven in part by an increased fear of living in densely populated cities amid the pandemic.
But in addition to the battle with COVID-19, New York City in particular has been struggling with escalating crime and homelessness in recent months, with camps taking over large parts of the city.
The city’s upscale Upper West Side neighborhood experienced its own exodus in August, with trucks moving along residential streets and long lines forming outside U-Haul stations.
The exit came in response to an increase in crime, indiscriminate violence, drug use, public urination and open prostitution following the city council’s decision to move thousands of homeless people to boutique hotels in the area to try to stop the spread of the virus.
Following public outcry and threats of legal action, the city has since put the plan on hold.
Amid the turmoil, Governor Cuomo has forecast a government deficit of $ 30 billion over the next two years due to the deadly impact of COVID-19.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has been more vocal in recent months about raising taxes on the wealthy to ease the city’s woes.
Just two weeks ago, during a performance on The Brian Lehrer Show, de Blasio said, “Help me tax the rich. Help me redistribute wealth. Help me build affordable housing in white communities if you want desegregation, ”in response to a question about public school integration.
And on Monday, De Blasio advocated that owners of local sports stadiums, such as Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium, also pay more taxes to help the city’s recovery.
“Let’s be clear: sports franchises have gained incredible value over the years,” de Blasio said at a press conference. They clearly have the resources. I think the history in this city and pretty much all over the country was that stadium deals were generally not good deals for the public. Some of the more recent ones were better, but mostly they weren’t that good.
“Everything has to be re-evaluated, especially when the city needs resources for our recovery.”