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The Call Blog: Before State Of The State, A Push To Tax The Wealthy

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One politician ran for office by pledging to raise taxes on the rich. He won. Another politician is running for office by pledging to lower taxes for everyone. He is favored to win. Death and taxes. Can't accept them. Can't stop them.

Mayor Bill de Blasio joined leaders of several major unions today to push for universal pre-Kindergarten and expanded after-school programs for middle school students. De Blasio said support from labor leaders "will make a huge impact" in convincing State lawmakers to raise taxes on New Yorkers earning more than $500,000 a year to pay for the plan.

The announcement of union support comes two days before Governor Cuomo's State of the State address in Albany. Cuomo hasn't committed to the tax increase, but is reportedly considering funding universal pre-K on the statewide level in his $140 billion budget. What do you say?

Should Governor Cuomo fund free pre-Kindergarten with tax dollars that are already collected? Or should the State agree to create a special revenue fund by raising taxes on the wealthiest city residents? Will a show of union support affect this decision?

Send your thoughts using the link above.


Mayor Deblasio is hell-bent on raising taxes on the wealthy (in his mind redistributing wealth). The fact that Cuomo is up for re-election should make for some great shows this year.

I was always under the impression that the Council should an independent voice for New Yorkers. Why is DeBlasio pushing Viverito down everyone's throats. It didn't seem to bother him that Viverito "failed" to pay income tax on her rental properties. About a month ago, DeBlasio said he was against member line items; Viverito did not like this idea. Neither of them have mentioned line items (slush funds) since then.

On another note Viverito bought her real estate with interest free HUD loans. Cuomo, DeBlasio and Viverito all worked for HUD. As average working New Yorkers, we would never be given loans like these.

Things are not looking good,,,,4 years will hopefully fly by !

Happy New Year.

Midtown East

use the existing budget !!!!!!!!!!!!!


Hi john

I think if the unions show solidarity with Mayor Diblasio they eould make a impact on Gov. Cumo, the rich should be taxed and the Govenor should fund pre k and after school programs for the kids because the kids are our future. The unions shouldn't be left out because they need fair and decent contracts, if the MTA need to raise the fare they should do it because my buddies need a fair and decent contract they're the ones that keep the city moving

Upper west side

Hi John,

I’m convinced more than ever that this Mayor is not ready for prime time. Why does DeBlasio need the support of the Unions? Why should Cuomo fund this free pre-K at the expense of other New Yorkers? If they don’t have the money then we can’t afford it by being taxed once again. TAX AND SPEND, TAX AND SPEND AT SOMEONE ELSE'S EXPENSE AS ALWAYS !!!!!!!!!

Thank you John,

Hi John;

I'm always leery of "targeted tax increases". Money is fungible so will it really go to pre-K? Is the amount of the tax increase exactly equal to the amount needed? The amount being talked about is dwarfed by the numbers for the lapsed union contracts so I'd like to see the full budget including agreements with all the unions before any tax increases are instituted. It's easy to say tax the rich but the federal tax increase this year is quite significant; it's not just the 35-39% increase but it's also he 3.8% tax on unearned income that kicks in at $200K for single filers and $250K for joint filers.

There are already some pre-K classes, how many kids don't have seats right now? Are there enough classrooms (designed for pre-K with bathrooms)? Downtown there are not even enough elementary seats and school buildings are full. Are there enough qualified pre-K teachers?

If there's a choice I'd prefer they reinstate the commuter tax before increasing any tax on city residents. My guess is at the end of the day the Governor will find the money for pre-K without raising taxes (at least this year). I'm hopeful that property taxes are not raised too much because the city can do that on its own.


Ted from LES

I would like to see existing state funds used to honor past commitments to fully fund education in NYC, including a reduction in class size and the creation of adequate seats to meet demand. New revenue should be generated for the mayor's beneficial new programs.


Hi John,

Some people just keep asking for different things and forget that we pay many taxes on other items/services continuously without warning. My Con Ed has gone through the roof and I just got the usual yearly increase on my cable bill. Let’s not forget the cell phones and anything else they choose to tax. How much do they all expect us to continue to pay in taxes? When do we get a break?

Thank you John,

I support universal pre-k, but not necessarily raising taxes from the rich for this purpose. As an educator, I would like the money to be invested in other new programs to help the families. It doesn't help with only sending kids to pre-k because it's just a baby sitting service with no support for the families. These are 3-4 year olds, let them be kids and parents need to be interacting and involve with their kids in addition to maintaining a job. I see 5 yr olds running the household as if they're the adult, so why not invest in programs to help families in general, like respite care or other services. Finally, if we're going to tax people, then we need to tax everyone, not just one group. I am not in the rich category, but paying an outrageous amount on taxes, whether it's real estate or water.

From SI

The rich are crying because they are being taxed to support early education for children and supporters are saying leave them alone because it will only push them out of new york, yet i don't hear the rich complaining when push minorities who pay the most taxes out of their own neighborhoods. Give me a break ! and quit crying.


I don't agree with the pre k the tax should be put to jobs creation

From corona

De Blasio's daughter, in a campaign ad, says "the rich need to pay their fair share.". But what do the De Blasio's pay for? De Blasio went to college on a scholarship, his daughter goes to college on a scholarship. And yet they own not one but two buildings in Park Slope. And you could hardly say that De Blasio and his wife have both worked full time since they got married. Where do they get their money from? And maybe De Blasio could sell one of his buildings and pay for his daughter's college, so that the scholarship could go to someone more needy.

It used to be mayoral candidates released copies of their tax returns. Have we seen de Blasio's yet? I think it's reasonable to get an idea of the finances of a mayor who overseas a budget of $70 billion.

(mother worked 1.5 jobs, dad worked one job, to pay for family w/ two kids)




This is Susan from Flushing, I think they can add more tax to Soda, Alcohol, Cigarettes and The rich.

Let's put this in prospective! Seriously the cost of this tax increase is really the tax you would pay on a designer handbag. And let's be honest there are plenty of them in NYC. So I think supporting a Pre K that would benefit the children of NYC really should not be too much to ask.

Danielle, Upper East Side

What ever happened to the money that the State owed to the city for education? What ever happened to the lottery supporting education? The rich only get richer and they won't leave. As far as the union workers paying for it, teachers haven't gotten a raise in 5 years and spend hundreds of dollars out of their pockets in supplies for their students. The rich can afford it, the middle class can barely make ends meet!


As a single man, I find it offensive that an additional tax should be levied against me to subsidize Pre-K education. I have no children, neither do I plan to have any. Why should I foot the bill for other people's children? No to mention, education starts in the home. I'm doubtful that tacking on another grade to an already failing education system will alleviate the real problem. More programs should be created for illiterate, non-English speaking parents.

Josh from Astoria

Hey, here's a thought: How about using all that "revenue" from all those gambling, casinos, Lotto, Mega, Power Ball, Sweet Million, Take five, scratch off games. It's not as if NY gets any big winners anyway. Wasn't the Lottery set up on the premise that the proceeds (millions) go to education? Besides, at that age, 4-5?, all the kids do is play. Basically it would be a day-care system. If parents aren't at least teaching their kids SOMETHING why should our tax money go there. I think the problem in education is in middle school. And NOT because the children DIDN'T go to Pre-K.

Ivette, Jackson Heights

In some countries in Europe and Asia children go to school when they are 7 years old. They start 1st grade and at this age they are ready to learn. They absorb like sponge. In this country we have pre-k kindergarden and 1st grade at age 6 and we are still behind. Children who come from other countries are doing better than our children. Parents should raise their kids and be responsible not to burden rich to pay to get rid of their children. At age of 4 prek children should play not to learn and be with their families not to go to school. We should spend money to educate parents how to raise their children not to burden schools for it.

Anna an educator and mother of 3 children

Taxing the rich isn't the only way to pay for anything. Why doesn't the voting public push to have politicians take a pay cut and funnel those monies towards education? When are we gonna flex those muscles and actually put the idea of politicians work for the public into effect?!


Is it just a coincidence that on the same day Mayor DeBlasio surrounds himself with Union bigwigs and announces he intends to raise taxes on the wealthy, our Governor in Albany
announces that he intends to reduce taxes in New York State? I think it's doubtful this ill advised plan will survive Albany, and I think his real motive is simply to find a way to fund retroactive pay raises to the unions.


I'm for the wealthier paying more tax to fund upk. Upk is largely utilized by low income families. What better way to give these children all the tools to maybe one day be one of the wealthy and support the next generation in a similar way.

Mary in whitestone

I live in Staten Island, am a single working mom with 2 children. I make a lower middle class salary, but I still struggle financially. I support uprek , but I also support those making over 500k, they create jobs and we dont want to push them out of our state. I think it would be fair to offer the program to working families so who pay taxes and have a very small tax that makes pre k affordable (like$ 50 monthy). We Americans need to help our economy....we all should contribute fairly.


For the life of me I've never understood why some working class people feel a need to defend the rich. Wake up. The rich are not leaving. Apartments in bed-stuy are going for over 2,000 a month. The rich can afford the small amount that deBlasio is asking for. The rich are not leaving.

Chris from Brooklyn

Dear John,

This may be a dangerous situation to have two elected officials who want their own way. The best thing that would benefit New York City residents is to have both the Governor and Mayor work out a com premise, which means both people will have to give up something in order to have a successful com premise. At this time, sadly, com premise does not appear to be an option at this time.

Clifton, Staten Island

Can people who rent apartments in our city and send their children to our schools pay a type of education tax. The property owners are paying the bill.

Staten Island

This may be an ignorant question but I really would like to know Where does the Money for education from the lotteries go specifically???


In addition to taxing the wealthy, charge the charter schools rent and use those funds for PreK and Afterschool.

Bridgette S.
Brooklyn, NY

Tax the people that make over half million a year .they already have the best housing the best schools that majority of New Yorkers can't afford . The most they can do is give less privileged children an fair shot to be academically equal. Plus it will create a lot of jobs that are much needed.


Hey John,

Great topic.

We should tax those making more than 500k for the following reason; It would change the paradigm currently in place of starving government.

Pensions, Infrastructure etc., NEED revenue! EXAMPLE, the chattering class love to profess the insolvency of social security. Does the average person know someone making 111k and former mayor Bloomberg contribute the same amount to the Social Security fund? That is because there's a cap on contributions!

I'm from bayside!

Sure, its a great idea. Just like a ton of other ideas. It should be put in the "pot" of services and then figure out what the budgeted revenue is to pay for it all. What did the wealthy do wrong? What percentage of the city's total tax collected come from the very people they are now wanted to charge more. And finally why stop there? Are new ideas all going to be funded by the wealthy?


Jeff from manhattan.

How bout all the people not paying into the system their children should be left out of pre k. They get all these free services and contribute nothing to the cause. Free medical not paying taxes, getting money to help pay their rent, food stamps. These are the people who burden the system. Because they contribute nothing.

Staten island

Investment into Pre-K will be the one biggest move that would seed the social change for the next generation of crime reduction and productive citizens in this city and society.

3 dollars a day for those making 500k plus is such little drop in the bucket. Why would this even be such a debatable issue amongst the rich.


Yes, let the rich pay their fare share in taxes unlike most middle class people Finance pre-k, it's important instead of balancing budgets on the backs of the 99%

Awilda from Brooklyn

I dont think this should be a debate because our children need education if the rich can afford it then good for them but of course they need to help out the poor.


As a NY city public school teacher, I often see huge disparities in the academic abilities of my 5th grade students who are 2-3 years below grade level and those who are not. Exposing children to literature and spoken language early on in their development is critical to their success. I applaud DeBlasio in his campaign for universal pre-kindergarten. Although I am by no means in the "wealthy" income tax bracket, I am willing to modify my budget and pay higher taxes in support of pre-k education.

Migdalia, Rego Park

De Blasio got elected because, among other things, people agreed they wanted to tax wealthy people to fund pre-k.

We don't need Albany telling us how to do these things, and we don't need Andrew Cuomo telling us we'll do it another way just because he wants to look more appealing as a future presidential candidate.

I think it's very important for the people of New York City to take a stand on this, only one of many areas in which the state meddles in our city affairs.

Elllie - Turtle Bay

of course they should raise the taxes on the rich- generally- but put into the general funds and not earmark it from the start --


I resent the fact that this new mayor sees upper - bracket, hard working individuals as cash cows. Does he want to tax us to finance a new tunnel, bridge , or housing project as well? The burden of financing a UPK program should rest solely on the parents or ultimately on State funding. When will this insanity end?

Forest Hills

Happy New Year John :)

This is a good idea! NY's who earn or have more than 500k should pay more, that's it. Sure it is easy for me to say cause don't have it like that but the rich or high earner always get a free pass or have a tantrum & threaten to leave NY because they to pay more. The Gov and Senate Majority need to stop playing favorites. Our young children need this. Education is always on the back burner when it comes to funding and it finally has to stop!

Tony, Albany

Education is so important. Children need an early start in developing fundamental skills. $973.00 is so little to ask of someone making over half a million dollars. Education is an investment in our society's future.

Rego Park

The Mayor , the governor, the City council Democrats ( only 3 Republicans). the controller and Public Advocate are democrats. Now is the time for pre K financed by tax increase.


My son attended Pre K in Queens last year and the program was a waste of time. Will the curriculum be amended or is this just a day care program funded by the people of NYC?


Why shoudl I pay tax for educating the young? To the young man from (Astoria I think: )
Because you are a member of society.



Why should parents be allowed to use the power of government to steal money from others to pay for children they did not bring into the world? The rule should be: You have children, you pay to educate them.

All taxation is theft. Government education is one of the largest thefts.

Port Richmond, SI

NYC public schools pays more than any other city in America and probably more than any other city in the world for each child educated. Yet our schools are failing our children. Most of the money spent does not get to the classroom which is why, despite hardworking teachers, our schools don’t work.

The mayor should be working on this. No amount of money will overcome the current waste in our schools.


I think they should take from the rich because they really dont pay anything also these kids need more information about any subjects open up more afterschool programs were kids can get help some children dont get help at home because some parents are lazy or some parents dont understand the work my thing is if they do or dont take the taxes the money they get will it be goin to the schools thats the question every parent would like to know the government always up to something n we as the people behind 100% and never get nowhere just another struggle and as parents paying alot of money that we dont have some of us cant bravely make rent money so my question is are these children gonna get the education that they need?


I thought the lottery was supposed to fund education. What's up with that?

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