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Fight For A Fair Economy Coalition Urges New York State Legislators To Extend The So-Called Millionaires Tax/Area Community Groups & Labor Unions Say Extension “Is About Equitable Taxation And Ensuring That Everyone Pays Their Fair Share”

Published Wednesday, November 23, 2011 5:00 pm
by Labor Wire Services & WNYLaborToday.com Staff

(BUFFALO) – Joining with Occupy Buffalo Activists camped out in Niagara Square in Downtown Buffalo, the Fight for a Fair Economy Coalition – which consists of a number of area Community Organizations and Labor Unions – are urging New York State Legislators to commit to extending the so-called Millionaire’s Tax that is set to expire in December.  

Representatives and members of PUSH (People United For Sustainable Housing) Buffalo, Faith-based VOICE Buffalo and the Niagara Organizing Alliance for Hope (NOAH), the Coalition for Economic Justice (CEJ), 1199 SEIU (Service Employees International Union) Healthcare Workers East, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and Citizen Action of New York made the call came during a news conference that was held today (Wednesday, November 23rd) and to also discuss the failures and ramifications of the so called Super Committee, a bi-partisan Congressional Committee given the task of decreasing the Federal Deficit by $1.2 trillion through cuts to the Nation’s Defense Fund, Social Services and Discretionary Funding.

The Millionaires Tax currently covers individuals who make more than $250,000, which generates more than $5 billion to New York State in annual revenue. A new bill has been introduced in the Legislature that would only include individuals who make more than $1 million a year, which would mean the State would only generate $4 billion a year in revenue. 

The Millionaires Tax is strictly “about equitable taxation and ensuring that everyone pays their fair share,” those who spoke at the news conference said, adding that “we collectively make shared sacrifices in order to navigate an economy that is failing the ninety-nine-percent,”

“The extension of the Millionaire’s Tax isn’t just about doing what’s right, it’s sound economic policy,” SEIU Local 1199 Vice President says Todd Hobler said.  “Opponents to the tax’s extension often quote ‘trickle-down economics,’ saying what’s good for the one-percent of wage earners will eventually trickle down to the rest of us, which has been proven not to work. However, we see that ‘trickle-up economics’ work when the majority of people have access to quality Health Care and can educate their children.  When people are able to work they make a Living Wage, and that’s when you get a strong Middle Class - a strong economy.”

Jim Anderson, who serves as New York State Vice President of Citizen Action of New York, said: “Thanksgiving is a time for families to come together to give thanks and share their family traditions.  For many families, this Thanksgiving will be drastically different and difficult.  New York State has lost thousands of jobs and many Social Services Programs have been cut leaving many families feeling bleak about ever finding a job.  We don’t have the jobs in the community that ensures a quality of life that we all deserve.  Yet our services are being cut and our State Legislators are poised to cut more.  Every clear voice of reason and fairness calls for the extension of the Millionaire's Tax.  We call upon our leaders to demonstrate statesmanship to avoid further economic devastation to the ninety-nine-percent.  The extension of the Millionaire's Tax will create four-point-six-billion dollars in revenue which would help restore New York State’s economy, create quality jobs, increased Social Services and provide quality education for our children.”

The Coalition for Economic Justice’s Micaela Shapiro-Shellaby added: “Earlier this week, the Center for Working Families released a report that stated a little more than one-percent of millionaires live in Western New York.  Our State Legislators from Western New York have an obligation to do what’s right for the majority of us - or the ninety-nine-percent of us here in our region - and vote to extend this tax!”

WNYLaborToday.com Editor’s Note: For a complete version of the report, go to: http://www.cwfny.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Who-Pays-the-Millionaires-Tax.pdf.

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