TEMPORARILY UTILIZE THE STOCK TRANSFER TAX
A GOOD SOLUTION FOR ONE-THIRD OF NEW YORK'S BUDGET DEFICIT
Ventimiglia, Co-Chair BALCONY, chairman and president of Saratoga
Capital Management, LLC, an asset allocation company.
New York State is facing a financial crisis the likes of
which it has never seen. In addition to facing a $9.2 billion
budget deficit, this year will mark the first time ever that the
state's general fund will operate in the red in May and June. The
provision of vital state services is in jeopardy. For example,
repair and renovation of New York's bridges and roads has largely come
to a halt putting thousands of jobs and New Yorkers' safety at
risk. In addition, huge cuts to education, health care, and human
services are being considered. Furthermore, at a time when our
fellow New Yorkers are already choking on their taxes, new taxes on
soda, mortgages and vehicles are being proposed.
BALCONY, the Business and Labor Coalition of New York,
endorses temporarily reducing New York's stock transfer tax rebate from
a 100% rebate to an 80% rebate to help ensure that New York can
continue to provide essential state services. In addition, we
call on our elected officials in Albany and throughout the state to
make responsible choices as they realign our state's budget.
The stock transfer tax is essentially a sales tax on the
transfer of shares of stock. The tax has been in effect since
1905, however the money collected from the tax is currently collected
and then rebated in full. The tax was fully collected until 1979
when it became rebated at 30% - the rebate was raised to 60% in 1980
and to 100% in 1981. The stock transfer tax was a national tax
between 1914 and 1966. In fact, many foreign stock exchanges have
a transfer tax in place, often at considerably higher rates.
London, Hong Kong, France, Germany, Switzerland and others have such a
tax, all at higher rates than what is being proposed here.
The money collected by the tax before rebates in the 2010
fiscal year alone was $14.5 billion. If just 20% of that was not
rebated, New York State would raise close to $2.9 billion in taxes
which would remove approximately one-third of our projected budget
deficit. This will help us to continue to provide essential
services to our fellow New Yorkers, including education, health care,
and human services. This is an immediate solution to our dire
budget crisis. This tax is already in place, thus it would cost
nothing to set up and could begin generating revenue for our state
immediately. Further, this tax would be a temporary tax and not
punitive nor retroactive. The collection of this tax should be
structured in a manner such that it is collected from those who are in
the strongest financial position to pay it, while not unfairly
burdening small investors.
Finally, many of BALCONY's members work on Wall Street and
many of their family members and friends rely on the revenue from Wall
Street to survive, which is why BALCONY is endorsing what we believe is
a non-punitive, common sense, temporary revenue enhancer that will not
unfairly nor disproportionately impact the bottom line of our Wall
Street firms. We recognize and appreciate the many contributions
Wall Street makes to the success of our great state. At a time
when Wall Street is experiencing record profitability we ask all of our
friends on Wall Street to further help New York fortify its foundation
to help us to provide vital services to our fellow New Yorkers and to
continue to provide a sound operating environment for the world's
financial capital - Wall Street.
By Alan Lubin,
BALCONY, BUSINESS AND LABOR COALITION OF NEW YORK
future of New York State demands that a solid foundation of respect
exist between state government and its workforce. That respect cannot
exist if the public and private sector workers who retain state
contracts cannot count on those contracts being honored.
May 10, with the state budget over 40 days late, Governor Paterson and
the Legislature voted yes to a new emergency spending bill that
includes a one-day-a-week furlough on state workers -- an unprecedented
and misguided move that would unfairly place the burden of New York
State's financial crisis squarely on the shoulders of our state's most
valuable resource, it's workers.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence Kahn has enjoined the governor from
pursuing the furlough option, but the very fact that the governor
sought the furloughs in the first place indicates a critical lack of
respect on the part of the governor for the contracts the state has
entered into with its workforce.
the entire article: Alan Lubin
has the Ways & Means:
How and Why
Should Give Back to
Sensible options for closing the state budget gap meet
1. To support
rather than undermine the needs of New York families.
2. To minimize
the negative impact of this year's budget decisions on the fragile
3. To require
the New York financial industry - which bears responsibility for much
of the negative impact on the state's economy and finances since 2007,
and which has now realized enormous profits because of the
taxpayer-funded bailout - to contribute a fair share to Main Street's
Read the full
Look to Wall Street for Help
By FRANK MAURO, FPI's Executive Director and RON DEUTSCH, New Yorkers
for Fiscal Fitness
published in Times Union on
April 12, 2010.
New York, like other states, still reeling from a devastating national
recession, Gov. David Paterson and the Legislature are proposing budget
plans that rely overwhelmingly on cuts to essential public services.
This, they imply, would hurt the economy less than a more balanced
approach that includes some economically sensible revenue choices.
Nothing could be further from economic reality.
the entire article here: HELP
John Liu Thomas P. DiNapoli
Michael Mulgrew, President, UFT
discuss the state economy and issues facing working New Yorkers
May 20, 2010
Federation of Teachers
Broadway, New York City
a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
RSVP to Kathy McCormack, Director of Labor Affairs,
at (518) 473-8409 or email@example.com
In Honor of Anne Frank's
The Anne Frank Center Presents
The 14th Annual
Spirit of Anne Frank Awards
June 14, 2010
Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction
Dinner and Awards Ceremony
4 East 60th Street
(between Madison and Fifth Avenues)
For Additional Information
Lisa Wainer: (212) 517-5415 Lisa@lweventsnyc.com
Please Respond by June 4th
Save the Date!
June 25, 2010
Director of the
Authority of NY & NJ
What: Port Authority of NY & NJ Capital
Plan for 2010-2011.
Where: New York and Vicinity Carpenters Labor Management Corp.
When: June 25, 2010, 8 a.m.
395 Hudson Street, NY NY 10014
FOR MORE INFORMATION and RESERVATION:
CALL BALCONY: (212) 219-7777
NYC PEF/CSEA Protest (May 14)
On Wednesday, May 12th, U.S. District Judge Lawrence
Kahn enjoined Governor Paterson from moving forward with his plan to
furlough state employees, saying it would cause "irreparable
harm" to the state's workforce. The judge was responding
to legal challenges brought by a BALCONY, the Business and Labor Coalition
of New York, labor coalition.
The ruling followed an unprecedented move by the New
York State Legislature, which voted Monday, May 10th, to approve
Governor Paterson's latest emergency spending package, which included
a one-day-a-week furlough for state workers.
Immediately following the vote a coalition of
BALCONY members, including three of the state's largest unions
representing state employees, PEF (Public Employees Federation), CSEA
(Civil Service Employees Association), and UUP (United University Professionals),
in conjunction with NYSUT (New York State United Teachers) sued the
governor claiming the furloughs are illegal and violate labor
Alan Lubin, Co-Chair of
BALCONY, called the governor's abrogation of union contracts
"unacceptable." "BALCONY supports our members in their
efforts to reverse what may well be a watershed decision by our
embattled governor, and we are confident that the courts will
recognize the supreme importance of government honoring its contracts
with state employees."
"Governor Paterson has a right to be wrong, but
CSEA has a right to respond when he is. We will continue to do
whatever it takes to protect the interest of CSEA members and the
services we provide for the people of New York," said Danny
Donohue, President of CSEA.
Phillip Smith, President of UUP
had this to say, "I am disappointed and frustrated over this
turn of events. But know this: we will fight this unlawful act with
all administrative and legal means at our disposal. Our
attorneys have filed a temporary restraining order as part of a
lawsuit in Federal Court today to block the furloughs. We will also
file a contract grievance and an improper practice charge to protect
our members. We will not stand still for this blatant breach of our
Smith insisted that the unions were willing to go to the
bargaining table but had been rebuffed by the governor,
"Last week, I reached out to the governor's office and asked to
speak with Gov. Paterson about alternatives to the furloughs. A staff
person from the governor's office told me today that Gov. Paterson is
not interested in negotiating alternatives right now, despite his
public claims to the contrary. That's what we know."
"The governor continues to insist that breaking
contracts negotiated in good faith are the only way he can generate
savings from the state work force. He knows this is untrue. PEF has
provided the governor with alternative budget solutions that would
avoid such hardships. PEF will be immediately filing for a
temporary restraining order to stop the illegal furlough plan and
protect our members from irreparable damage the loss of income will
cause," said Kenneth Brynien, President of PEF.
Richard Iannuzzi, President of NYSUT,
said, "This illegitimate and misguided measure is a violation of
contracts that were negotiated in good faith, and would hurt families
and take money out of the economy at a time when so many of our
communities and businesses are already struggling financially.
It would also interfere with the education of tens of thousands of
students in our public higher-education system at a critical time of
year, when professors are grading final papers and preparing final
Even as the Legislature prepared to vote on the spending bill there
were serious concerns about the legality and constitutionality of the
"It's not possible," State Assembly Leader Sheldon
Silver told reporters following a meeting of the Assembly Rules
Committee. Silver said he
intended to vote for the budget extenders even though the believes
it's illegal for the governor to furlough state workers. "I believe the court will
overturn it," Silver said. Senate democrats passed a toothless resolution
expressing their opposition to the bill before voting on it,
expressing their discontent at being forced to choose between
furloughs and a complete shutdown of the state government.
State Senator Diane Savino (D-S.I., Brooklyn)
asserted that the governor had left the legislature with a no-win
"Hobson's choice". "He's asked us to legalize
an illegal act," Savino said. "I'm not happy about it, but
the alternative is much worse."
Other unions have voiced solidarity in the struggle to repeal the
Joe Sano, executive director
of OMCE, the Office of Managerial and Confidential Employees, said
the furloughs, "...solve nothing. In fact they are a
deterrent to having all parties sit and talk as equals to resolve
this mess. OMCE proposed a plan in February that would save the
state money and still provide for the statutory increases that were
promised. The State's management and confidential employees
want to see this budget resolved with restored 3 and 4% wage
increases and everything else they have lost in the last 3 years."
Danny Donohue, President of CSEA,
called Judge Kahn's decision to block the furloughs "a major
victory for working people," contending the plan would have
added "even more chaos and crisis" to the struggle to
balance New York's books.
Phillip Smith, President of UUP,
added, "This restraining order affirms our contention that
the furloughs are unconstitutional, and we are confident we will also
win the lawsuit."
Judge Lawrence Kahn also ordered
the governor to include previously negotiated raises to the union
employees in any new emergency spending plan he brings to the
table. The governor had suspended raises for state employees in
a spending bill passed early last month.
Judge Kahn has set a hearing on the dispute for May 26.
Click here for the initial ruling by Judge Kahn: Kahn
ALBANY RALLY (May 10)
General Contractors' Legal Battle Continues
Unions representing New York's state employees are the
just the latest groups to file suit against the governor in relation
to his mismanagement of the current budget crisis. The General
Contractors Association of New York filed a lawsuit against the governor
last month in response to Paterson's decision to freeze pay-outs for
state road and bridge construction and renovation projects.
That case is still ongoing.
Read the full press release: GCANY
Support Education Jobs Bill
$1.4 Billion for NYS
New York's two U.S. senators are voicing strong support for
legislation moving through Congress that would help school districts
to pull back most - if not all - of the estimated 15,000 pink slips
now being handed out to New York teachers and other education professionals.
Addressing New York State United Teachers' 38th
Representative Assembly in Washington, D.C., U.S. Sen. Charles
Schumer and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand pledged to work
hard for swift passage of the $23 billion Keep Our Educators Working
Act. Both Gillibrand and Schumer are co-sponsors of the new
legislation, which would direct $1.4 billion to New York for one year
which school districts would be required to use to retain education
jobs. The money could not be used to retire debt, lower taxes or be
put in a reserve fund.
Schumer said the cuts proposed by school districts facing a $1.4
billion shortfall in state aid "should send shivers down the
spine of anyone who cares about the future of education, and the
future of New York's children."
Gillibrand, speaking to 3,000 union delegates
immediately after Schumer, said, "Laying off teachers and
support staff would be disastrous for our communities and for the
future of our children."
NYSUT President Richard C. Iannuzzi said the timing is
critical - the jobs bill must be adopted soon, as soon as possible to
stave off damage in the classroom. "The devastating cuts
proposed for schools would further undermine our economic recovery
while setting back our education progress by years. The state's dire
fiscal situation is not our students' fault, yet they will feel the
impact now - and for the rest of their years in school."
BALCONY NEW YORK
633 Third Avenue, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Lou Gordon - BALCONY Director
BALCONY, the Business and Labor Coalition of New York,
represents more than 1,000 New York businesses, labor unions,
and trade associations.
BALCONY seeks common ground in the public policy debate
in New York to spur economic development through the adoption of
business/union friendly, socially responsible common sense laws that
maintain and improve the quality of life for working New Yorkers.
Editor: Nicholas Kapustinsky