March 9, 2011
Hon. Andrew Cuomo
Albany, NY 12224
Dear Governor Cuomo:
The Queens Civic Congress is a coalition of more than 100 of Queens’s major neighborhood based civic groups that represent thousands of tenants, condo and co-op owners and homeowners living in every part of the Borough. QCC is the only borough-wide group of its kind in New York City.
QCC recognizes that the State is facing almost intractable fiscal challenges and that the 2011 and 2012 budgets must include painful cuts that all New Yorkers will feel. But your cuts in education, health and social services are aimed squarely at the middle class and the working poor who could not possibly duplicate the services they will lose. The cuts in aid to New York City, especially to education, health and social services, would further exacerbate the budget’s deleterious effects on children, teens, the elderly and families.
The Queens Civic Congress has studied the effects of the executive budget on the State, City and on Queens in particular. We have concluded that the 2011-2012 budget must include
Revenue enhancements. QCC urges you to include retention of the Personal Income Tax Surcharge (PITS) in this year’s budget.
When the stakes of letting Wall Street fall were too high, taxpayers bailed out the banks and much of the financial service industry. Lower Manhattan has since largely recovered and companies that risked middle class families’ pensions and mortgages are once again making profits. Meanwhile, middle class families in Queens and across the State continue to struggle. Jobs have not rebounded. Foreclosure signs and abandoned homes deface our streets. Classrooms are packed to the brim. Tuitions at public universities have soared. Services to families and the elderly are being decimated.
44% of New York City’s wealth is in the hands of the top 1% of income earners and yet they only contribute 1/3 of the tax base. Our representatives in Washington, Albany and City Hall are asking us to sacrifice. But our neighbors have been sacrificing for years, and continue to do so through increased prices, wage freezes, MTA hikes and various user taxes and fees. QCC believes the wealthiest New Yorkers should pay their fair share through the extension of New York State’s Personal Income Tax Surcharge.
By implementing this modest revenue generating measure, you can keep the State from failing its citizens.