We have one question for our state lawmakers who still want to impose record tax hikes even after the feds rode to New York’s rescue with $12.7 billion in direct aid for the government in Albany and tens of billions more for entities both public and private: Are you crazy?

As Sen. Chuck Schumer noted, when boasting in writing about bringing home the bacon in the American Rescue Plan, the funding is “solving the state’s budget woes.”

And yet state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie still want to go ahead with a whopping $7 billion in tax hikes on the wealthy that will encourage more job creators to leave for the sunnier climes of North Carolina, Florida and so forth. Joining them will be even more people of average means who’ll find more opportunity to the south and west than here. That’s why Florida recently passed New York in population and why we keep losing congressional seats after every Census. And yet, driven by ideology, jealously and the lust for power, the ability to control more of society by controlling more of the economy, some never learn. But as Queens Chamber of Commerce President Tom Grech told the New York Post, “You don’t tax your way into prosperity. We need people to make bold investments in New York City. Tax hikes are going to discourage investment.”

The Legislature wants to raise spending an insane 18 percent, from $177 billion this year to $208.3 billion. The tax hikes it plans include higher levies on income, capital gains, second homes and corporations. Those, of course, would hurt middle- and lower-income people by driving up the cost of goods, driving down home values as people leave, reducing job opportunities and slowing overall economic growth.

“This is what happened to New York during the 1970s, when we lost half our Fortune 500 companies, and it took 30 years to recover,” says a letter signed by more than 250 business leaders opposing the plan. They warned that higher taxes and spending would make it far harder for the economy to recover from the devastating impact of Covid-19.

Yes, some people are incredibly wealthy, and it’s frustrating that you’re not. But the top 1 percent in New York already pay more than 40 percent of all income taxes. With Zoom, it’s even easier for both folks and firms to flee than it was in the ’70s. And rather than Ford telling New York to drop dead, we have Biden telling us to come and get it. We don’t need tax hikes. We need a free people spending freely.

(1) comment

stan chaz

Sorry Queens Chronicle, but this year your perennial pleas to protect the ultra-rich from FINALLY paying their fair share of taxes will fall on a legislature that is determined to repair the gross unfairness of our taxation system, and a weakened fake progressive governor. The truth is that your warning “that higher taxes and spending would make it far harder for the economy to recover “ is the opposite of the truth. Instead, what we desperately need is HIGHER spending to save our State and its people, higher spending funded by higher targeted taxes on the ultra-rich, higher spending to speed the recovery and provide the people of New York with the services and assistance they so desperately need & deserve & demand in this unparalleled time of suffering for so many. This city and this state made the rich rich, and kept them rich, and helped them get even richer and it’s time for payback and justice and fairness. For far too long the rigged rules of the game have grossly tilted in favor of the ultra-rich, as they laughed all the way to the bank, laughing at all the people they conned. Witness the fact that their wealth increased enormously during the pandemic while so many suffered, and are still suffering, and as a crisis of eviction looms for many through no fault of their owm. It’s time for change, for real change, way past time. Politicians in our “democracy" have been shamefully bought and sold and manipulated like chess pieces by the ultra-rich. That too is changing. The ways in which economic rewards are created, awarded and kept is not etched in some sacred & untouchable biblical stone tablet. No, these are man-made rules & rewards and they can and must be changed, changed to more equitably serve more of us, instead of most benefiting only the very few at the top. The fortunes of the ultra-rich derive from the blood, sweat, tears and purchases of the people. The very same people that now demand their fair share of the pie , while the ultra rich still tell us to eat cake — lest they flee to Florida, and join the mosquitos and other fellow blood-suckers.

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