Proposed “Millionaire’s tax” to fix NYC Summer of Hell

WHAT IT IS

WHY IT MATTERS

Are high income earners willing to live in a city with a higher tax carry for an undetermined period of time, or will they simply file residency elsewhere?

  • IMPLEMENT IT – “Better transportation, better city”

    • For all:  Many are applauding the plan’s call to utilize $250 million for discounted or reduced fare, which could positively impact 800,000 low income riders.
    • Grow business:  With functioning subways and subsided fares, more New Yorkers will be able to consistently get to work.
    • Sustainable revenue:  According to de Blasio, this tax will equate to around $7 a day for those making $500,00 or over $1 million a year.
    • Not the first:   According to the Tax Foundation, many states, including California, adopted a “millionaires tax” during the Great Recession to help close budget holes.
  • DISCARD IT – “Not an appropriate solution”

    • Not soon enough:   Chairman of the state authority, Joseph Lhota, believes the tax will be a “long-term funding stream”, yet the system needs emergency repairs “right now, not years from now”.
    • Other solutions:   Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other transit activists are proposing more tolls for drivers who strain the system with congestion and overuse.
    • Unjust:  Is it fair to demand less than %1 of the city population to fix a city-wide crisis?
    • Potential to flee:  The target population is already paying large tax bills and have the resources to leave residence in the city if desired.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • The proposed tax needs to pass the state legislature, with Republican’s controlling the Senate.
  • De Blasio’s plan includes mandating the state to pay $8 billion toward the authority’s current long-term plan for repairs.
  • The “Summer of Hell” continues, with Governor Cuomo declaring a state of emergency in June on the 113 year old public transit system, which handles 6 million riders each weekday.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Seattle’s successful implementation of discounted public transportation fares for low income riders of city buses and light rail.
  • Would the system be better run as a private organization?
  • How can we prevent a state of emergency from occurring throughout our country’s crumbling infrastructure?