Protesters Crash Legislative Budget Hearing to Call for Economy-Boosting Millionaires’ Tax Expansion

Working Families Demand the Wealthy Pay Their Fair Share – Stagnant Wages and Soaring Profits Are Killing NY’s Economy

Albany, NY – Tired of being subjected to poverty wages while CEOs rake in enormous profits, working New Yorkers stormed the joint legislative hearing on taxes this morning to demand fair tax policy that will boost the economy, starting with expanding the millionaires’ tax and closing the carried interest loophole.

Protesters interrupted the hearing just as it began in an effort to focus the conversation on tax policy that will help all New Yorkers, not just a wealthy few. Their chants could be heard throughout the Legislative Office Building and got the attention of decision-makers in attendance.

“We need real and meaningful action to address the problems facing families and the undeniable dangers that President Trump presents,” said Strong Economy for All Organizing Director, Charles Khan. “New Yorkers don’t need lip service from Albany, our values are under attack. It’s crucial that we invest in struggling NY Families. That means Millionaires and Billionaires have to pay their share.”

“I reject the notion that there is a shortage of wealth in our state. That’s simply not true,” said Citizen Action Hudson Valley member, Jamie Levato. “The problem is, a handful of people are controlling the wealth and crippling our economy It’s time for our elected leaders to take a stand for regular New Yorkers and for the rich to pay their share.”

“Aging New Yorkers were facing a crisis of divestment and underfunding long before this election. Now more than ever, seniors like me are terrified of devastating cuts to the services and programs that we depend on for basic dignity and independence,” said Jews for Racial & Economic Justice Member, Sylvia Vogelman. “Wealthier New Yorkers must pay their fair share so that we can invest in home care and services for seniors and people with disabilities. I believe that a more caring economy is possible.”

“Albany needs to start putting working-class families first in the state budget,” said Make the Road Executive Director, Deborah Axt. “That starts with making millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. This would assure that there are sufficient resources to invest in our communities and defend against the vicious cuts that the Trump administration is threatening. With New Yorkers under attack from Washington, we will make sure that our legislators hear us loud and clear: revenue must be part of the conversation in this state.”

“Since 2008 CUNY has lost 14% of its state investment. Today more than ever New York State need to invest in an affordable and quality public higher education,” said Hunter College Professor, Mike Fabricant. “To do that we need new sources of revenue, progressive taxes that demands more from the very wealthy while investing in middle and low-income students. In the short term it would reduce inequality, in the long term it builds the economy.”

Currently, New York’s tax brackets are based on income distributions from the 1970s and 80s and do not reflect the explosive gains by high wage earners in the millionaire and billionaire class of New York. Adding tax brackets at $1, $2, $10, $50 and $100 million a year would go a long way in re-balancing an unequal economy and raise more than $2.2 billion dollars a year.

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