Updated: Jun 23, 2020
Green Party officers said that New York State Legislators coming back into session on Tuesday had a chance to put an end to austerity measures and the class war being waged on working New Yorkers. Party leaders said the easiest path would be collecting the Stock Transfer Tax currently valued at nearly $16 billion a year and rebated to Wall St. investors since 1981, but that modestly raising taxes on New York’s 118 billionaires would work as well.
Green officials said that Gov. Cuomo, who rang the New York Stock Exchange’s bell to open trading on Tuesday, has charted a course that led to massive layoffs in municipalities across the state after over $8 billion in reductions to local aid were announced earlier in the month. They stated that Green New Deal programs, which the party has been promoting for a decade, would inject money into local economies across New York, employ tens of thousands laid off during the pandemic, and speed New York towards a 100% renewable energy economy. Party leaders said that a bill introduced last week by Assembly member Patricia Fahy should be amended to create a robust and permanent Works Progress Administration devoted to the Green New Deal.
“The Legislature has a week to prove they are with the essential workers, the school teachers, the firefighters, the parents that depend on local government services, or whether they are with the bankers and the billionaires. $16 billion in Stock Transfer Tax revenues are rebated to Wall St. investors yearly - it is time they pay a modest sales tax to help their fellow New Yorkers in this time of need. Why not also ask our 118 billionaires to make a small sacrifice to aid 19.5 million New Yorkers, and pass a carbon tax on polluters as well? The money to stop the fiscal bleeding is there - the question is whether the Legislature has the courage to take the measures necessary to use it,” said Peter LaVenia, state party co-chair.
“It’s also time to enact measures Greens have long called for: a Green New Deal with a massive public works jobs program to employ the unemployed and rebuild New York’s economy on a sustainable and renewable basis. A recent Oxford study has shown that Green stimulus packages are the most effective way to create jobs. Even Gov. Cuomo has called for “thinking big” in reshaping the economy and investing in green programs. Assembly member Patricia Fahy’s bill (A10480) is a first step but is far too limited; the program should have no age limit, should be statewide regardless of county unemployment data, and have no sunset date. Instead we propose the Green Party’s Green New Deal as a model instead: full employment for all with public living wage jobs, investment in local cooperatives, and a transition to 100% renewable economy. This would not only provide a massive, and proven, demand-side economic boost, but it would create a better and cleaner New York,” concluded party co-chair Gloria Mattera.
“Tax the rich and provide jobs - this should be the simple mantra of the Legislature. If Gov. Cuomo wants to ring the bell at the NYSE then the Legislature should be prepared to ring his bell and pass the Stock Transfer tax. Beat back austerity and working people will back you, or the Green Party will help lead a movement to elect Legislators that will,” concluded LaVenia. -James McCabe