ALBANY, N.Y. Feb. 14, 2020 — New York State United Teachers today launched an ad campaign highlighting the need for new taxes on the ultrawealthy to raise revenue for critical investments in public education.
The campaign will feature a series of ads contrasting the growing income inequality in New York with the failure to fully fund public schools. The first of those ads, a 30-second digital and television ad called “Broken Promises,” notes that while income inequality in New York is highest in the nation, the state owes public schools billions of dollars in funding. It quotes real teachers saying that the failure to fund public schools means children aren’t getting what they need to succeed.
“We need New York State, which is home to more billionaires and ultramillionaires than anywhere else, to stop shortchanging public school children,” said NYSUT President Andy Pallotta. “More than 90 percent of New Yorkers support new taxes on the ultrawealthy because they know that it is time for those at the top to pay their fair share. We need to fund our future so New York schools don’t have to go without the social workers, classroom technology and supplies they need.”
With 112 New York billionaires sitting on $525 billion in wealth and more than 46,000 multimillionaires calling the Empire State home, mandating that the ultrawealthy pay their fair share in taxes would generate more than $12 billion in revenue for the state.
The new ad follows the release earlier this week of a poll showing that an overwhelming majority of New York voters (92 percent) support new taxes on the ultrawealthy as the state grapples with a $6.1 billion budget deficit. The survey of 1,000 registered New York voters conducted by Hart Research Associates shows broad support for a wealth tax on New Yorkers with more than $1 billion in wealth, a new ultramillionaires tax on those with incomes over $5 million and a pied-à-terre tax. That support cuts across all regions of the state and party lines, with 95 percent of Democrats, 87 percent of Republicans and 89 percent of unaffiliated voters backing the tax proposals.
What’s more, 64 percent of voters say that implementing these new taxes on the super-rich would have a good impact on New York’s economy. And 72 percent say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who favors passing new taxes on ultramillionaires.
New York State United Teachers is a statewide union with more than 600,000 members in education, human services and health care. NYSUT is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education Association and the AFL-CIO.