$15 Minimum Wage Would Raise Earnings for 1.1 Million Immigrants

March 23, 2016. In a brief, the Fiscal Policy Institute states that gradually raising the New York State minimum wage from its current level of $9/hour to $15/hour by 2019 in New York City and mid-2021 in the rest of the state would give a much-needed raise to 1.1 million immigrant workers.

In all, there are 3.2 million New York workers who will benefit from the phased-in wage increase, which would on average increase wages by $4,900 per year. These numbers reflect the workers who would gain once a phased-in minimum wage is fully in place.

Setting a wage floor at $15/hour will disproportionately benefit immigrants, who are more likely to be in lower-wage jobs than their U.S.-born counterparts. Forty-three percent of all immigrants working in the state would get a raise, as would 36 percent of all workers.

PDF of Brief

PDF of Press Release

The Retail Sector—New York’s Biggest Low-wage Employer Needs to Provide Higher Wages

March 22, 2016. Among all sectors, retail trade has the most low-wage workers in New York State. Over a half million (555,200) retail workers will benefit from an increase in the statewide minimum wage to $15 an hour. These workers make up nearly a fifth (18 percent) of the 3.2 million workers receiving a wage boost, although retail jobs represent one in nine of all New York jobs.

With the phased-in $15 minimum wage floor, 61 percent of all women retail workers would receive higher wages, as would 55 percent of all men retail workers. Retail workers are overwhelmingly adults (91 percent), only 9 percent are teenagers.

Fifty-three percent of the retail workers who would benefit are white, non-Hispanic, and 47 percent are persons of color. Of all African-American retail workers, 62 percent would receive a wage increase, as would 65 percent of all Latino retail workers.

More than one-quarter (27 percent) of all retail workers are parents struggling to raise families on very low wages. Over half of all retail workers (53 percent) who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage receive some form of public assistance because their retail wages are so low.

Median hourly pay for New York’s retail workers has fallen by 7-9 percent since 2002, adjusted for inflation, this is far greater than the 1 percent decline in the overall median wage.

The median hourly wage statewide in May 2014 (latest occupational data available) for retail salespersons (the largest occupational group within retail) was $10.32, and wage levels are fairly uniform in both upstate and downstate regions.

The hourly earnings needed to support a basic family budget in 2021 across New York well exceeds the proposed $15 an hour minimum wage floor.

Large chain employers that average 970 employees per firm account for 60 percent of all retail employment in New York, and these large employers pay some of the lowest wages, nearly a quarter less than retail companies with between 5 and 500 workers.

These large retail chains are prominent all across the state and their low-wage practices are a significant factor in local labor markets in every region and metro area.

The largest retail chains are extremely profitable and reward their CEOs with compensation more than 900 times as great as the pay of the average retail worker in New York.

PDF of Full Report

Wealthy New Yorkers Urge Governor Cuomo and Legislature to Enact 1% Plan for New York Tax Fairness

March 21, 2016.  Some of the wealthiest New Yorkers have sent an open letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature urging passage of the “1% Plan for New York Tax Fairness” to replace the temporary ‘millionaires tax’ set to expire at the end of next year. The Fiscal Policy Institute’s 1% Plan calls for new tax rates ranging from 7.65% to 9.99% applied to new tax brackets starting at $665,000, the income threshold for the top 1% of New Yorkers. The plan also calls for continuation of the lower rates now in place for lower and middle-income New Yorkers. The full text of the letter is included below.

The signers, including Steven C. Rockefeller, Leo Hindery, Jr., Abigail Disney, Agnes Gund, Dal Lamagna, Martin Rothenberg and Lewis B. Cullman, also support the similar “Millionaires Tax” advanced by the New York State Assembly in their one house budget resolution released last week.

The letter was organized jointly by the Fiscal Policy Institute and the Responsible Wealth project. The signers of the letter, many of whom are members of the Responsible Wealth project, are all New York residents in the top 1% of income in the state.

Businessman, philanthropist and author Lewis Cullman of New York City, who engineered the first LBO in 1964 and went on to own and develop At-a-Glance™ calendars, said, “Look, I’ve benefited from being in New York my whole life. I’ve built companies in a fertile business environment, and I’ve enjoyed the quality of life we have here. I have given most of my money away to charity. I’m very philanthropic, like a lot of my peers, but there are many important things that philanthropy just doesn’t do, and can’t do – like pave our streets, build airports, inspect our food, and educate all our children, just to name a few. Those of us in the top 1% of incomes have a particular responsibility to contribute to the public sector at a higher marginal tax rate than everyone else.”

Leo Hindery, Jr., managing partner of InterMedia Partners, a New York-based media industry private equity fund, said, “As a businessman and philanthropist and as a citizen of New York State, I believe we need to invest in our people and our infrastructure. The 1% Tax Plan makes it possible to make these investments, and simply asks people like me to continue to pay a higher tax rate, as we should. The Assembly’s one house resolution passed last week accomplishes this same goal, but with an even higher threshold. I enthusiastically support either plan.”

David A. Levine of Manhattan, former chief economist for AllianceBernstein (at that time called Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.), stated, “In the last thirty-five years, there’s been an enormous widening in pre-tax income. The fact that public policy has contributed to widening the gap is shameful. New York State had the good sense in 2009 and again in 2011 to create a higher tax rate for those of us in the top income brackets. The 1% Plan strengthens the progressivity of New York’s tax structure, which is both good and necessary. We are overdue for investments in New York’s future, and we should not make those investments on the backs of middle class and working families.”

Lindsay Shea is a philanthropist, and with her husband, Brian, owns Tydeman Farm in Germantown, New York. Ms. Shea said, “I’m grateful to live in a state with a strong public sector that provides good public schools, excellent public transportation, infrastructure, and a healthy economy that provides jobs for our family, our children, and people in our community. If we want a good functioning government at all levels, we need to pay for it. If your income is $16,000 a year, or $50,000 a year, or even $100,000 a year, pretty much every dollar of your income goes back out the door in living expenses. People like my husband and me in the top 1% have more disposable income and must have a higher tax rate than everyone else. We wholeheartedly support the ‘1% Plan for New York Tax Fairness.’”

Responsible Wealth project director Mike Lapham said, “Responsible Wealth members understand that, to remain economically competitive, New York State must invest in education and infrastructure. They are willing to pay taxes at a higher rate to secure those investments. Our members lobbied for the original millionaires tax in 2009 and the extension in 2011. If the millionaires tax were to expire, the top 1% would get a $3.7 billion annual tax windfall, which would put New York State back in the predicament it faced in 2009. These signers are willing to continue to pay a higher rate to preserve the quality of life and economic strength of New York State.”

“It is refreshing to see that many wealthy New Yorkers are more than willing to expand and make permanent the temporary top income tax rates set to expire at the end of next year. They are willing to step up and support higher taxes on themselves so that we can fund our glaring human and physical infrastructure needs. FPI’s 1% Tax Fairness Plan and the Assembly’s true “millionaires tax” have support and appeal from the very people who would be impacted by them, and according to these nearly 50 signers, they can more than afford an increase in the top marginal rates,” said Ron Deutsch, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute.

PDF of 1% Plan

PDF of Press Release

Wealthy New Yorkers Support Progressive Taxation

Dear Governor Cuomo and Legislative Leaders,

We are upperincome New Yorkers who treasure the quality of life in our state. However, we are deeply concerned that too many New Yorkers are struggling economically, and the state’s ailing infrastructure is in desperate need of attention. We cannot afford to ignore these challenges.

As business leaders and investors, we know that the long-term stability and growth of a company requires investments in both its human capital and physical infrastructure. The same is true for our state.

It is a shameful fact that child poverty in New York State is at a record level, exceeding 50 percent in some of our urban centers. New York State has a record number of homeless families – more than 80,000 people – struggling to survive across the state. And far too many adults in our state do not have the work skills needed for the 21st century economy.

Now is the time to invest in the long-term economic viability of New York. We need to invest in pathways out of poverty and up the economic ladder for all of our fellow citizens, including strong public education from pre-K to college. And, we need to invest in the fragile bridges, tunnels, waterlines, public buildings, and roads that we all depend on. These human and physical infrastructure investments will pay off in the creation of new jobs, a workforce prepared to fill them, and a reduction in the extreme income inequality that currently exists in our state.

The question is: how do we pay for those investments? In the spirit of shared sacrifice, we, the undersigned, call for a balanced solution that includes maintaining, expanding, and making permanent the top marginal income tax rates for upper-income New Yorkers like us who can afford to pay more. Specifically, we urge the Governor and the Legislature to implement the “1% Plan for New York Tax Fairness”, which calls for new marginal rates of 7.65%, 8.82%, 9.35%, 9.65% and 9.99% for brackets starting at $665,000 (the top 1% of earners in our state), $1 million, $2 million, $10 million and $100 million, respectively.

We also urge our elected leaders to make permanent the lower tax rates for working families, ranging from 4% to 6.85%, before they expire next year. If the temporary tax rates at all levels are allowed to expire, it will mean a $1 billion dollar tax increase for middle class families and a $3.7 billion dollar windfall tax cut for millionaires like us.

As New Yorkers who have contributed to and benefited from the economic vibrancy of our state, we have both the ability and the responsibility to pay our fair share. We can well afford to pay our current taxes, and we can afford to pay even more. Our state needs to invest this revenue in our struggling schools, in anti-poverty measures and in infrastructure improvements. Our state’s longterm economic prosperity depends on strong investments in our people and our communities.

Everyone does better when everyone does better. We urge Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature to expand the current “Millionaires Tax” and ensure that upper-income New Yorkers like us keep doing their part to invest in our state.


Sonia Alexander, NYC * Elyse Arnow-Brill, Joshua Arnow, Pound Ridge * Roy Berberich, Mineola * Polly Cleveland and Thomas Haines, NYC * Arthur Cornfield, NYC * Louis B. Cullman and Louise Hirshfeld Cullman, NYC * Pierce Delahunt, NYC * Anne Delaney, NYC * Abigail Disney, NYC * Barbara Fleischman, NYC * Sarah Frank, NYC * Rosemary Faulkner, NYC * Elspeth Gilmore, NYC * Steven and Mary Goldring, NYC * Agnes Gund, NYC * Catherine Gund, NYC * Leo Hindery Jr., NYC * Polly Howell & Eric Werthman, Glenford * Marion Hunt, NYC * Craig Kaplan & Anne Hess, NYC * Dal LaMagna, NYC * Ruth and David A. Levine, NYC * Michael A. and Ann Ross Loeb, NYC * Joshua Mailman, NYC * James and Jacqueline Mann, Mt Kisco, NYC * Mark Nelkin, NYC * Jan Nicholson, NYC * Susan Ochshorn and Marc I. Gross, NYC * Richard Perl, NYC * Seth Perlman, NYC * Karen Pittelman, NYC * Mark Reed, NYC * Steven C. Rockefeller, NYC * Darius A. Ross, NYC * Martin Rothenburg, Syracuse * Lindsay Shea, Germantown * Daniel A. Simon, NYC * Lynn Stern, NYC * Jessie Spector, NYC * Sarah Stranahan, NYC * Peter Strugatz, East Hampton

Proposed EITC Expansion Is No Substitute for Proposed $15 Minimum Wage

March 18, 2016. The state’s EITC is an extremely important benefit to low- and moderate-income working families. There is considerable merit to Assemblyman Kolb’s proposed 50% enhancement to the state’s EITC, raising it form 30% to 45% of the federal EITC. However, the proposal is certainly not a substitute for raising the minimum wage. It is more appropriate to view the EITC and raising the minimum wage as complementary policies. See the complete brief issued jointly by the Fiscal Policy Institute and the National Employment Law Project for further details.


FPI Testimony in US Senate on Immigration

March 16, 2016. The director of FPI’s Immigration Research Initiative, David Dyssegaard Kallick, testified today before a U.S. Senate hearing on immigration, making the case that immigrants are contributing robustly to the United States economy,

Written testimony is here.

Video available here. In the video, the hearing starts at 21.08; Kallick’s remarks are at 1:01:15, 1:17:03, and 2:04:05.

New York Economists Support a Statewide $15 Minimum Wage; Recent academic research shows it’s good for workers, businesses and the economy

March 14, 2016. More than 75 economists from throughout New York State joined together this week to send a message to Albany: a phased-in increase in the minimum wage to $15 by 2019 in New York City and by mid-2021 in the rest of the state is a prudent and much needed policy that would raise the incomes of struggling low-wage workers and boost their spending power without hurting the state’s economy.

The economists’ statement cites a number of academic authorities in summarizing the case in support of a $15 minimum wage. The statement notes that an estimated 3.2 million New York workers, or 37 percent of the state’s labor force, would benefit, including one-third who are parents and that are raising over one-third (34.3 percent) of the state’s children. The statement cites research on the benefits for child development of higher parental income, concluding that “there would be long-lasting benefits to the state” from the proposed minimum wage increase.

The statement is signed by distinguished professors Teresa Ghilarducci, Janet Gornick, David Howell, and Tom Michl and 75 of their colleagues who are economists or social scientists with expertise in labor market policies from across the state. The Fiscal Policy Institute’s Chief Economist and Deputy Director, James Parrott, worked with the signers in circulating the statement.

“Costco has raised its starting pay to $13 nationwide,” said David Howell of the New School. “This puts in perspective the proposal to raise the New York State minimum wage to $15 by mid-2021. Working backward from consensus inflation forecasts put the value of $15 in 2021 at about $13.25 in today’s dollars, which is very close to Costco’s starting wage that applies in many low-income states. The case against the $15 minimum wage concerns employment effects, but economic research has produced no evidence that a five-year phased-in $15 wage will cause discernible job loss. Well over 3 million New Yorkers will see big boosts in family income, which among other things will increase local consumer spending (generating jobs) and reduce health and poverty-related costs for the state and localities (easing budget pressure and saving taxpayer dollars). The net benefits of a $15 minimum wage in mid-2021 seem overwhelming.”

Regarding concerns about the wage increase in upstate areas, Colgate University’s Tom Michl stated, “Governor Cuomo’s proposal to increase the New York State minimum wage to $15 more gradually in upstate than in New York City takes account of the differences between the upstate and city economies. I think that most working families in New York would agree that an ambitious program to raise the minimum wage is better than a timid program that leaves millions of New Yorkers suffering unnecessarily low or poverty-level wages. In some upstate regions, as many as 80% of poor or near-poor workers will benefit from a higher minimum.”

Anticipating the claim by some that it would be preferable to increase the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) rather than the minimum wage, New School economist Teresa Ghilarducci stated, “Low wage workers get some relief from taxpayers who fund the EITC. A higher minimum wage will lessen the burden of low wages that employers are now able to shift to taxpayers.” Ghilarducci also noted that to match the benefit to workers from a $15 minimum wage, the state’s EITC would have to be roughly the same as the federal EITC, entailing more than a $2 billion increase in the cost to New York taxpayers.

The economists’ minimum wage statement cites the work of Michael Reich and colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley who recently released a new comprehensive report examining the impact of the proposed $15 minimum wage on businesses and the overall New York economy. The Berkeley report notes that “in the end, the costs of the minimum wage will be borne by turnover reductions, productivity increases and modest price increases…without adverse employment effects.”[1]

The economists’ statement concludes: “We believe that a phased-in increase in the New York State minimum wage to $15 an hour makes sound economic sense: it would be good for the state’s workers and their families, good for businesses, and good for the health and sustainability of the overall state economy.”

The full text of the statement with list of signers follows.


We, the undersigned economists and social scientists, support Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2019 in New York City, and by mid-2021 in the rest of the state. We believe this to be a prudent and much needed policy that would raise the incomes of struggling low-wage workers and boost their spending power without hurting the state’s economy.

The current minimum wage of $9.00 in New York does not adequately cover basic living costs for families who must rely on it. It does not even cover basic expenses for single adults. Cost of living analysis shows that in 2016, single workers without family responsibilities need between $13.80 (in Buffalo) and $21.41 (in New York City) just to make ends meet. By 2021, a basic needs wage for these workers will range between $15.72 and $24.38 respectively.[2] Gov. Cuomo’s proposal would help lift many low-wage workers closer to a living wage.

Raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour would deliver much needed additional income to an estimated 3.2 million workers, or 37 percent of the state’s labor force. On average, these workers would earn $4,800 more in annual pay. [3] Significant portions of these workers (33 percent) are single or married parents raising over one-third (34.3 percent) of the state’s child population. Teen workers under 20 years old make up only 5 percent of affected workers. The typical worker who would benefit from a $15 minimum wage earns half of their households’ total income,[4] suggesting the additional income would have a real impact on the economic health of hundreds of thousands of New York families.

There would be long-lasting benefits to the state, as research shows that additional family income improves low-income children’s educational outcomes on a variety of measures.[5]

The benefits of a $15 minimum wage are not limited to low-wage workers and their families. Taxpayers would also benefit, as the wage increase could produce significant fiscal savings from reduced expenditures on safety net programs. Recent analysis shows that more than half (52 percent) of New York workers earning under $15 per hour were enrolled—or had a family member enrolled—in one or more of the state’s major public assistance programs. The cost of worker participation in safety net programs is significant: each year, New York State and local governments spend approximately $2.9 billion in public programs.[6] The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a complementary policy to a higher minimum wage, it is not a substitute for raising the wage floor as some have suggested.

Opponents also frequently argue that studies show minimum wage increases lead to job losses or reduced employment opportunities for low-wage workers because businesses are less willing to hire workers at the increased wage level. These assertions are based on outdated and flawed research that overstate job impacts of minimum wage policies. Instead, “metastudies” (analyses that survey the minimum wage research field and aggregate findings from many studies) show that the majority of newer, credible studies come to the opposite conclusion: Policies raising the wage floor increase the take-home pay of affected workers without hurting employment levels overall. This is in part explained by the positive effects of higher wages for businesses, which benefit from reduced levels of turnover, savings from reduced spending in recruiting and training new workers as a result of the lower turnover, higher morale and productivity, and improved customer service.[7] Additionally, higher wages can result in increased consumer spending and increased sales for local businesses.

It is no wonder, then, that more than 200 economists nationwide have endorsed a $15 minimum wage, stating that this “will be an effective means of improving living standards for low-wage workers and their families and will help stabilize the economy. The costs to other groups in society will be modest and readily absorbed.”[8] This sentiment is echoed by leading economist and Nobel laureate, Paul Krugman, who, in recent comments at the City University of New York, cited the new body of research on the minimum wage as “one of the most compelling sets of empirical results I’ve ever seen in economics…There’s absolutely no reason to think that a fifteen dollar minimum wage will be a problem for New York.”[9]

We recognize that raising New York’s minimum wage to $15 an hour would entail an increase that is outside of past experience in New York or elsewhere at the state or federal levels. However, Gov. Cuomo’s proposal is a well-designed plan that phases-in the higher wage over time, and with consideration for the different economies Upstate and in New York City. Outside of New York City, annual increases would be 10 percent or less, well within the range of most minimum wage increases. The timeline of the proposed increase will ensure that businesses are able to absorb the added labor costs through modest increases in prices and productivity, and by enabling them to incorporate into their revised business plans a slightly larger share of total revenues to go towards wages. Business profits per worker have increased twice as fast as wages in New York since 2001.[10]

If Gov. Cuomo’s proposal is approved, New York would be the first state in the nation to adopt a $15 wage floor for all workers. However, other jurisdictions precede the Empire State. The small port city of SeaTac was in fact the first to require a $15 minimum wage for airport and travel industry workers, followed by San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles City and County and others followed with $15 an hour minimum wage policies for workers in all sectors.[11]

A new study by economist Michael Reich and colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley carefully worked through the likely effects of a phased-in increase to $15 in New York State, examining the impacts on business operating costs and modeling the implications for overall consumer demand of higher wages for 37 percent of the state’s workforce. The methodology used in the Berkeley study is straightforward and appropriate in modeling the impacts on businesses and the overall economy. The Berkeley study concludes that the net employment and economic effects would be very small in relation to the size of New York’s economy; the net employment increase would be 3,200 jobs, a fraction of a percent of the state’s overall workforce.[12] Businesses would see savings from reduced turnover and improved worker morale and productivity, and the adverse effects of slight price increases in some industries—still well below annual inflation—would be offset by the greater sales resulting from higher wages for a large number of workers. The tiny net economic impact from an increase over time to $15 is accompanied by a significant improvement in living standards for 3.16 million workers—37 percent of the state’s workforce.

For all of the above reasons, we believe that a phased-in increase in the New York State minimum wage to $15 an hour makes sound economic sense: it would be good for the state’s workers and their families, good for businesses, and good for the health and sustainability of the overall state economy.



(Affiliations are given for identification purposes only.)

Leon J. Battista, Bronx Community College-CUNY

Lourdes Beneria, Cornell University

Howard Botwinick, SUNY Cortland

John Chasse, SUNY Brockport

Jaspal S. Chatha, Lehman College-CUNY

Howard Chernick, Hunter College-CUNY

Kimberly Christensen, Sarah Lawrence College

Polly Cleveland, Columbia University

Hector Cordero-Guzman, Baruch College-CUNY

Susan Davis, Buffalo State College

Gregory DeFreitas, Hofstra University

Geert Dhondt, John Jay College

Thomas Dublin, SUNY Binghamton

Debra Dwyer, Stony Brook University-SUNY

Maria Figueroa, ILR School, Cornell University

Bruce Fisher, Buffalo State College

Lou Jean Fleron, Partnership for the Public Good, Buffalo

Fred Floss, Buffalo State College

Robert J. Foster, University of Rochester

Irwin Garfinkel, Columbia University

Arlene Geiger, John Jay College

Teresa Ghilarducci, New School University

William Goldsmith, Cornell University

Janet Gornick, CUNY Graduate Center

Lois Gray, ILR School, Cornell University

Josh Greenstein, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Christopher Gunn, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Robert Guttmann, Hofstra University

Michelle Holder, John Jay College-CUNY

David Howell, New School University

Tae-Hee Jo, Buffalo State College

Yehuda Klein, Brooklyn College-CUNY

Timothy Koechlin, Vassar College

Brent Kramer, John Jay College-CUNY

Laurence Krause, College at Old Westbury-SUNY

Joelle LeClaire, Buffalo State College

Henry Levin, Columbia University

Mark Levinson, Workers United

Oren Levin-Waldman, Metropolitan College of NY

Stephanie Luce, CUNY School of Professional Studies

Jeff Madrick, The Century Foundation

Laurence Malone, Hartwick College

Arindam Mandal, Siena College

Jay Mandle, Colgate University

J.W. Mason, John Jay College

Stanley Masters, Binghamton University-SUNY

Rick McGahey, former Ex. Dir., Congressional Joint Economic Committee

Martin Melkonian, Hofstra University

Thomas Michl, Colgate University

William Milberg, New School University

John Mollenkopf, CUNY Graduate Center

Thomas Muench, Stony Brook University-SUNY

Jawied Nawabi, Bronx Community College-CUNY

Michael Nuwer, SUNY Potsdam

Aaron Pacitti, Siena College

Andreas Duus Pape, Binghamton University-SUNY

James Parrott, Fiscal Policy Institute and Hunter College-CUNY

Paddy Quick, St. Francis College

Henry Saffer, CUNY Graduate Center

John Sarich, Cooper Union

Ted Schmidt, Buffalo State College

Elliott Sclar, Columbia University

Richard Shirey, Siena College

Harold Stolper, Community Service Society of New York City and Columbia University

William K. Tabb, Queens College and CUNY Graduate Center

Scott Trees, Siena College

Shyama Venkateswar, Hunter College-CUNY

Eric Verhoogen, Columbia University

William Waller, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

David Weiman, Barnard College

Benjamin C. Wilson, SUNY Cortland

Edward Wolff, New York University

Max Wolff, New School University

Andrew Wyler-David, Purchase College-SUNY

June M. Zaccone, Hofstra University

Paul Zarembka, University at Buffalo-UNY

Michael Zweig, SUNY Stony Brook

PDF of Release

[1] Michael Reich, Sylvia Allegretto, Ken Jacobs and Claire Montialoux, The Effects of a $15 Minimum Wage in New York State, University of California, Berkeley, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Center for Wage and Employment Dynamics, March 2016, http://irle.berkeley.edu/cwed/briefs/2016-01.pdf

[2] National Employment Law Project, How Much Do New York’s Workers Need? At Least $15 per hour – Both Upstate and Down, January 2016, http://nelp.org/content/uploads/Fact-Sheet-How-Much-New-York-Workers-Need-15.pdf.

[3] David Cooper, Raising the New York State Minimum Wage to $15 by July 2021 Would Lift Wages for 3.2 Million Workers, Economic Policy Institute, January 5, 2016, http://www.epi.org/publication/raising-new-york-state-minimum-wage-to-15/.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Chuck Marr, Chye-Ching Huang, Arloc Sherman, and Brandon Debot, EITC and Child Tax Credit Promote Work, Reduce Poverty, and Support Children’s Development, Research Finds, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, October 1, 2015, http://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/eitc-and-child-tax-credit-promote-work-reduce-poverty-and-support-childrens.

[6] Ken Jacobs, Ian Perry and Jenifer MacGillvary, The Public Costs of Low Wages in New York, UC Berkeley Labor Center, January 2016, http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu/pdf/2016/Public-Cost-of-Low-Wages-in-New-York.pdf.

[7] National Employment Law Project, and Fiscal Policy Institute, Fact Checking the Empire Center/American Action Forum Analysis of New York’s Proposed $15 Minimum Wage: Flawed Methods Produce Erroneous Results, November 2015, http://nelp.org/publication/fact-checking-the-empire-centeramerican-action-forum-analysis-of-new-yorks-proposed-15-minimum-wage-flawed-methods-produce-erroneous-results/.

[8] Some of the Nation’s Leading Economists Support a $15 an Hour Minimum Wage, July 2015, http://www.budget.senate.gov/democratic/public/_cache/files/89efe4b6-8934-4375-bc96-758fcc791622/minimum-wage-petition-july-21.pdf.

[9] A Conversation between Paul Krugman and Janet Gornick: From the Equality Indicators conference on October 1, 2015, Institute for State and Local Governance, http://equalityindicators.org/media/.

[10] Fiscal Policy Institute, Business profits in New York State have grown much faster than wages since 2001; minimum wage hike is a good corrective, Data Brief, December 1, 2015. http://bit.ly/1YHIzl8

[11] National Employment law Project, $15 Laws and Current Campaigns, http://raisetheminimumwage.org/pages/15-Laws-Current-Campaigns.

[12] Michael Reich, Sylvia Allegretto, Ken Jacobs and Claire Montialoux, The Effects of a $15 Minimum Wage in New York State, University of California, Berkeley, Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Center for Wage and Employment Dynamics, March 2016, http://irle.berkeley.edu/cwed/briefs/2016-01.pdf


Berkeley Report on Impact of $15 NY Minimum Wage Released

March 11, 2016. In a new report from the University of California at Berkeley, noted economist Michael Reich and colleagues take a comprehensive look at the likely impact of a $15 minimum wage in New York State.

This report assesses the broad impact on businesses and the overall economy and employment levels from the proposed phased-in $15 minimum wage. The report makes a significant contribution to the minimum wage literature since it  looks broadly across the economy and factors in both the impacts on workers and business operating costs, and considers the interaction between these forces. The report concludes that the higher wage costs of the minimum wage will be offset by savings related to reduced turnover, productivity increases and modest price increases that are only a fraction of recent overall price increases. Net employment effects will be minimal and yet over one-third of the state’s workforce will benefit from an average 23% increase in their wages.

Briefing on Mayor deBlasio’s Preliminary FY 2017 NYC Budget: Budgeting Cautiously amid State and Economic Uncertainty

March 10, 2016. In his briefing of NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio’s FY 2017 Preliminary budget, FPI’s James Parrott highlights the following:

  1. Strong economic and tax growth used to further a different set of budget and policy priorities than predecessors: reinvesting in human services; committing new resources to address housing and homelessness; continuing and different investments in public safety; and changing employment and wage policies to aid workers.
  1. Cautious budgeting in the face of economic uncertainty: Outyear gaps have been reduced; City has a significant budget reserve cushion; new focus on budget savings and greater efficiencies promised in Executive Budget.
  1. Budget and tax cap proposals from Albany pose new risks for NYC: These risks have risen to a new level that departs from a 40-year history of City-State financial partnership.
  1. Still to be addressed: The City hasn’t yet focused on reforming local taxes to make them less regressive, especially residential property taxes.

Tax Breaks for Wealthy Contributors to Private or Public Schools?

March 2, 2016. The education tax credit proposals currently being discussed have significant drawbacks as outlined in FPI’s new brief.

Both the governor’s proposal and the senate’s represent misguided tax policy for a number of reasons:

  • The PCEA represents a radical and unwise departure from existing state tax policy because it provides an unprecedented proportion (75 or 90 percent) of tax reduction relative to a contribution. It has the potential to lessen charitable contributions for a wide range of worthy causes.
  • Because of how the allocation of credits is administered and the fact that the education tax credit skirts limits on charitable contributions for high-income taxpayers, there is nothing to prevent a situation where all or the lion’s share of credits go to a relative handful of wealthy donors, corporations, or financial partnerships.
  • The state is essentially delegating its spending authority to private individuals, departing from the well-established and constitutionally sound basis for allocating state education aid and potentially in violation of section 7 of Article 7 of the state constitution that requires all appropriations to be “distinctly specified.”

PDF of Full Brief

PDF of Press Release Issued by Coalition

Briefing on Mayor de Blasio’s FY 2017 Preliminary NYC Budget

March 10, 2016. On Thursday morning, March 10, 2016, the Fiscal Policy Institute will present its annual New York City budget briefing to the Economic Justice and Social Welfare Network at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA). The briefing presentation will be from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The briefing is open to the public. To register for this free event, please click here.

The topics to be covered during the briefing include:

  • An overview of the Mayor’s Preliminary FY 2017 Budget proposal.
  • The social and economic context in New York City at the beginning of 2016.
  • The impact on New York City and its budget of the Governor’s proposed FY 2017 Executive Budget.
  • Discuss the outlook for and the prospective impact of an increase in the state minimum wage to $15 an hour.


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