Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Working Families Response to Spitzer's State of the State

Working Families Responds to State-of-the-State:

Proposed Property Tax Cut a Good First Step But . . .

Pressing Needs Demand Restoring Revenue from Wealthiest NY-ers

New York, NY – The reduction in property taxes paid by working families proposed by Gov. Eliot Spitzer in his State of the State address today is a good first step, but the measures don’t go nearly far enough in restoring progressivity to the overall state and local tax scheme, according to Working Families, an independent political party in New York.

In his State of the State address today, Gov. Spitzer proposed measures to reduce property taxes paid by low-income, working and middle-class families in New York. "Reducing property taxes paid by working families is a good first step towards a much-needed re-allocation of tax distribution in New York," said Dan Cantor, executive director of Working Families.

"The next and most important step is to make sure the wealthiest New Yorkers are really paying their fair share of taxes," Cantor continued. "The State should repeal the upper-income tax cuts passed in the 'Rip Van Winkle' era of Gov. Pataki."

"Gov. Spitzer often claims to take inspiration from Teddy Roosevelt. We also want him to aspire to the ideal of cousin Franklin," said Cantor, referring to the progressive income tax structure that prevalent during the New Deal.

"The 'One New York' reform plan proposed by the Fiscal Policy Institute is an excellent model for comprehensive reform that restores real progressivity to New York's revenue model. Without this kind of reform, it will be extremely difficult to meet the educational needs of low-income school districts, the economic development needs of Upstate and the health care needs of every New Yorker," said Cantor.

Working Families also commented on other aspects of Spitzer's agenda:
  • Gov. Spitzer's campaign commitment to meeting the funding needs of New York's public schools "by dramatically increase[ing] investment" is essential to the future economic and social health of the state.
  • We share Gov. Spitzer's objective of achieving universal health care in New York and urge the Governor not to compromise that goal with "restructuring" and cuts that actually impair the delivery of health care to those who can least afford it.
  • Reform of the workers compensation system that punches holes in the safety net for disabled workers would be a disastrously backward step in social policy.

Working Families is a grassroots, community and labor based political party with chapters throughout New York State. The goal of Working Families is to more forcefully inject the issues of working-class, middle-class, and poor people - like jobs, health care, education, and housing - into the public debate, and hold candidates and elected officials accountable on those issues. Working Families received more than 155,000 votes for Eliot Spitzer for Governor in 2006.


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