Yesterday, Governor Cuomo declared that he can’t raise taxes on wealthy New Yorkers, who he insists are already fleeing to second homes in the Hamptons and the Hudson Valley — so instead, he will close our budget deficit by slashing funding for public schools.
Since mid-March, the net worth of New York’s 118 billionaires has increased by 15 percent, or $77 billion. Meanwhile, over two million working New Yorkers have lost their jobs and are struggling to meet their basic food, housing and healthcare needs, with Black and Brown communities suffering the most. The millionaires’ tax S.7378 / A.10363, proposed by Senator Robert Jackson, would raise $4.5 billion to be directed to funding Foundation Aid — enough to ensure our public schools have the resources they need to safely and equitably reach students.
We can end educational inequity and generate revenue for our schools by raising taxes on the ultra-rich. But we cannot move forward without bold action from our leaders. Our State representatives must ask New York’s billionaires and millionaires to contribute a little more of their newly acquired wealth in order to invest in education. Failing to act now will set us back decades, baking the pandemic’s inequitable impacts into the fabric of our society, yet again failing our Black, Brown and low-income children.