Queens Community House asks YOU to ask your elected officials to Extend PITS!
Our Response to Budget Cuts
When the stakes of letting Wall Street fall were too high, we the taxpayers bailed them out. Lower Manhattan has since bounced back and the companies that gambled with our pensions and our mortgages are once again making a windfall in profits. Meanwhile, the folks on Queens Boulevard are still struggling. Jobs have not rebounded. Rent prices are still astronomical. Foreclosure signs speckle our streets. Classrooms are filled to the brim. Tuitions at public universities have soared. Senior centers have been shuttered.
What's at stake if we let our neighborhoods decline? Children will be left home alone after school instead of learning in a supervised environment. Teens will lose out on the opportunity to gain invaluable work experience through Summer Youth Employment. Immigrants desperate to learn English will be turned away in droves. Families battling eviction will end up in shelters or on the street. Seniors will face isolation and a loss of nutritious affordable lunches at their local senior centers. Is this the kind of society we want?
44% of New York City's wealth is in the hands of the top 1% of income earners and yet they only contribute 1/3 of the tax base. Our representatives in Washington, Albany and City Hall are asking us to sacrifice. But our neighbors have been sacrificing for years, and continue to do so through increased prices, wage freezes, MTA hikes and various user taxes. We believe the wealthiest New Yorkers should pay their fair share through the extension of New York State's Personal Income Tax Surcharge along with the New York City Council's Progressive Caucus's Temporary Income Tax Surcharge. By implementing these modest revenue generating measures, we can begin to reap the dividends of our investment in the financial industries' solvency and keep us from regressing into a society that can't look out for its own members.
New York needs the extension of the income tax surcharge to support vital services that strengthen vulnerable communities. The elimination of this tax will have a negative effect on the State’s already fragile infrastructure and result in less social and economic security for all.
Extending the PIT surcharge on affluent New Yorkers, those who make over a $200,000 NET income(after taxes and other deductions), would increase State revenue by approximately $1 billion in the final quarter of state FY 2011-2012 and $4-$5 billion annually starting in FY 2012-2013, helping to preserve core and safety net services for low-income people. The PIT surcharge is said to be charged to approximately 14,000 residents, a very small portion of the over 19,000,000 residents that make up New York State and who stand to benefit from the generated funds. This surcharge is due to expire on December 31, 2011.
New York State should extend the PIT surcharge enacted in FY 2009-2010. This minimal tax increase has not encumbered the lifestyle and well-being of wealthy New Yorkers, but has in fact helped relieved some of the heavy burden that moderate and low income families have been left to carry during this economic crisis as they struggle to make ends meet. They continue to need services such as child care, after school programs, teen programs, and other community supports to help them get and keep jobs, while older adults need senior centers, home delivered meals and other supportive services to remain at home.
I urge you not to forget struggling New Yorkers in our time of need and extend the much needed Personal Income Tax Surcharge.