THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS
250 BROADWAYNEW YORK, NY 10007
June 2011Mayor Michael BloombergCity HallNew York, NY 10007Dear Mayor Bloomberg:The Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council urges you to employ some of the many realistic revenueraising options available to the city in order to avoid cuts to human services and education in this municipal budget.Our communities cannot afford cuts to human services like child care, HIV and homelessness services; like Englishclasses and legal services for immigrants; like firehouses and libraries. And we cannot afford cuts to schools that arealready overcrowded and under-resourced.We are committed to use $1 billion of the nearly $3 billion Retiree Trust Fund to restore the worst cuts immediately,and to employ revenue options like those below to replenish the fund quickly for the future.To replenish the surplus, we have options such as the following:End bank subsidies that are unnecessary and unaffordable at this time. Four banks have received three quarters of abillion dollars in recent years to create or protect jobs in NYC, and they have fallen substantially short of their jobcreation promises. The banks have returned to record profits, making the subsidies unnecessary; and our workingcommunities are facing devastating cuts to jobs, education and human services programs, making the subsidiesunaffordable. These banks promised to create or protect over 33,186 jobs but only delivered 14,000, falling short of their promise by over 19,000. These four banks should be asked to return $100 million
a mere 12% of the totalsubsidies awarded
to help avoid the job losses that will result if education and human services cuts go through.Close tax loopholes for hedge funds and millionaires. We cannot afford to continue the special $200 million taxloopholes for hedge funds by exempting profits from the Unincorporated Business Tax. Nor can we afford the $120million that New York City loses when we allow 5,000 millionaires to deduct this tax from their City PersonalIncome Taxes.Renegotiate bank contracts with the City. The big six banks have about $600 million in city contracts. A ten percentreduction in those contracts
far less than the cuts that have been imposed on not-for-profit human servicesagencies over the past two years
would raise $60 million.Make the Mortgage Electronic Recording System (MERS) pay. Big banks used MERS to avoid fees and taxes asthey traded mortgages and created securities. Banks have avoided at least $70 million in mortgage recording feesthat are owed to NYC. Other municipalities and states are litigating to recover the fees and taxes lost to MERS; NewYork should do the same.
Continue the State millionaire’s tax.
We need you to use your considerable influence in Albany to push for thecontinuation of the modest State Personal Income Tax surcharge on millionaires that would provide $450 millionthis year alone for NYC schools and services.