Progressive groups on Monday are set to push a package of new taxes on the wealthy and loophole closures they say could raise the cash-strapped state $16 billion.
“This is something the mayor campaigned on, and while we saw a reduction, we really should’ve seen more progress with this,” said Alyssa Aguilera, co-executive director at VOCAL-NY. “The mayor and others are patting themselves on the back, but we can’t be satisfied with the mediocre progress that’s been done.”
“No one should be held just because they can’t come up with the money for bail,” activist Marilyn Reyes-Scales said at the rally. “It’s become a ransom people have to pay to get out of jail.”
The groups, which include VOCAL-NY, Citizen Action and the Communications Workers of America, estimated that the state could gain $3.5 billion a year from taxing carried interest as income (Cuomo’s office did not include a fiscal value), $5.5 billion a year from reinstituting the stock transfer tax and $2.3 billion a year from the additional high-tax brackets.
“They are still making more arrests than we’d like,” Chief Assistant District Attorney Karen Friedman Agnifilo said in an interview with POLITICO. “So we said to them, ‘We are no longer in the process of prosecuting fare beating.’”
Mayor de Blasio’s touted his affordable housing plan as unprecedented and ambitious — but advocates for the homeless say it’ll barely put a dent in the population of New Yorkers sleeping in shelters.
Safe places for people to use drugs like heroin are found in more than 100 countries, including Canada. They are not currently legal in the United States, but a spike in opioid deaths has survivors and lawmakers demanding that change.
The idea of setting up safe injection sites is gaining traction in some states, including Massachusetts, where the proposal has the backing of doctors and hospitals.
On average, nearly seven people die from opioid-related deaths each week in Erie County, and early last year, seven people died in just one day from suspected heroin overdoses, according to Eric County Executive Mark Poloncarz.
Supporters who headed to Albany on Monday said that it will cut down on overdose deaths.