Property tax relief and reform

December 12, 2011, Hurleyville. Sullivan County’s Senior Legislative Action Committee (SLAC) hosted a forum on December 12. Speakers included Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, county Treasurer Ira Cohen and Frank Mauro of the Fiscal Policy Institute. The forum was moderated by newly elected Sullivan County Legislator Cora Edwards.

Articles about this event include “SLAC Sponsored Tax Forum Draws Large Crowd” (Catskill Chronicle, December 13) and “Progressive versus regressive and tax exempts; New York State tax policy discussed” (The River Reporter, December 14). Additional photos from this event are posted on Assemblywoman Gunther’s Facebook page.

Testimony on “DREAM Act” Legislation

December 9, 2011. FPI’s David Dyssegaard Kallick was invited to deliver testimony before a joint hearing convened by the New York State Assembly Standing Committee on Governmental Operations and Standing Committee on Higher Education. He testified that going to college allows immigrants – even undocumented immigrants – to improve their employment opportunities, thereby boosting their contribution to the economy and to tax revenues. “Their success is also our success,” Kallick noted.

Reforming the New York Tax Code

December 5, 2011. Consistent with Governor Cuomo’s call for a tax system that is fairer and more affordable while helping to put more New Yorkers back to work, this report presents a “top 1%” progressive income tax plan. The plan raises less revenue than the current “millionaires tax,” but enough revenue to avoid job-killing budget cuts, make job-creating investments, and provide middle class tax relief. The proposed progressive bracket structure would apply to taxpayers with incomes above $665,000, the estimated threshold for the top one percent in the current New York economy. Taxpayers with taxable incomes up to $5 million would pay less than they pay now under the temporary surcharges scheduled to expire at the end of 2011.

Fairer taxes, more jobs: Gov. Cuomo needs to look out for the unemployed

December 4, 2011. An op ed by James Parrott and Frank Mauro, New York Daily News. New York is in a state of inequality. But we can balance the budget, provide real middle class tax relief and a boost to job creation, all through sensible income tax reform.

New York’s Unemployment Crisis and Income Polarization: Looking to State Policy for Solutions

December 2, 2011, Manhattan. Slides presented by James Parrott at the Center for Working Families’ 2011 New York policy conference: Good Ideas in Hard and Exciting Times: Policies for New York’s 99%. The last two slides show the overall regressivity of the New York State and New York City tax systems.

New York’s Unemployment Crisis and Income Polarization: Looking to State Policy for Solutions

December 2, 2011. A presentation by James Parrott at the Center for Working Families’ 2011 NYS policy conference: Good Ideas in Hard and Exciting Times: Policies for New York’s 99%. The last two slides show the overall regressivity of the New York State and New York City tax systems.

State of Working New York 2011, Part II: Great Recession takes a $31 billion toll on New Yorkers

November 29, 2011. New data show that New York families face smaller incomes, fewer opportunities, more hardship. The Fiscal Policy Institute’s 2011 annual edition of the State of Working New York examines how bad the Great Recession and the not-so-great “recovery” have been for the wages and incomes of typical New Yorkers. Of the 504,000 jobs lost, 80 percent are wage and salary positions, and about 20 percent represent fledgling businesses that haven’t been started because of the difficult economic climate. Median household incomes in New York State fell by 3.2 percent from 2007 to 2010, and weekly earnings have fallen for New York workers in the bottom half of the pay spectrum. Press release >> and full report >>

Also see the State of Working New York, Part I, which shows that two years into the “recovery,” one in seven New Yorkers is out of work.

Testimony on the Living Wage before the New York City Council Committee on Contracts

November 22, 2011. FPI’s James A. Parrott delivered testimony detailing the following points: There is no evidence from other cities to show that living wage ordinances are harmful either for workers directly affected or for the broader local economies. The Charles River Study is seriously flawed in both its labor market and its real estate analyses, and should not be used to inform decisions on this issue. The City should return to the question of how its considerable economic development resources can be used to create better jobs – and help raise wages and living standards. The result of rent negotiation should be acceptable to tenants (often, the largest employers affected by the living wage requirement) and realize a reasonable profit for the landlord (often, the beneficiary of subsidies or land use changes).

Advocating Across Borders: Immigrants, Businesses & the Economy

November 17, 2011, Central Islip. A discussion about how immigrants affect the Long Island economy, public policy issues, and how businesses can advocate for the rights of immigrants and deal with immigration regulations. Featured speakers: Patrick Young, Esq. (Central American Refugee Center), David Dyssegaard Kallick (FPI), and Eric Horn, Esq. Co-sponsored by the New York Civil Liberties Union of Suffolk and Nassau Counties, Long Island Wins, Central American Refugee Center, Fiscal Policy Institute, American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Tax reformers ready to fight, criticize cap

November 15, 2011. An article by Meghan E. Murphy, Middletown Times Herald-Record.

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