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Mayoral Issue Grid: Finance

by Gotham Gazette Staff, Aug 25, 2005
 


Mayoral Issue Grid

FINANCE

New York City’s annual budget will pose a problem for the next mayor. Experts project that the city will face a $4.5 billion deficit in each of the next two years. If the mayor cannot reduce spending, he or she will be forced to raise taxes or generate revenue from fees, fines, or tickets. The property tax is the only tax the mayor and City Council can raise without the approval of the State Legislature.

Fernando Ferrer

To reduce the city’s projected budget deficit, Fernando Ferrer says that he will eliminate loopholes in the tax code that he says costs the city $2 billion a year. He also promises to fight for more funding from Albany, particularly Medicaid payments. Ferrer also believes that the commuter tax should be reinstated, which would require the approval of the State Legislature.

While Ferrer says he will not raise taxes to balance the budget, he has proposed a stock transfer tax to help raise $1 billion for education.

Ferrer has not outlined any proposed tax cuts.

C. Virginia Fields

To reduce the city’s projected deficit, C. Virginia Fields says she will reform the city’s tax code and work toward 100 percent collection of taxes. Fields also believes that the commuter tax should be reinstated, which would require the approval of the State Legislature.

Fields says that “increasing taxes harms our economy” and does not plan to raise taxes to balance the budget.

She opposes an income tax increase and a tax on Wall Street stock transfers.

Fields has not outlined any proposed tax cuts.

A. Gifford Miller

To reduce the city’s projected deficit, Gifford Miller says that the mayor must do more to fight for New York City’s “fair share from Washington and Albany.” City taxpayers currently pay $24 billion a year more in taxes than they receive in services from the state and federal government. Miller also proposes a commuter tax of 1.1 percent, which would require the approval of the State Legislature.

While Miller does not want to raise taxes to balance the budget, he has proposed an income tax surcharge on New Yorkers who make more than $500,000 a year to help reduce class size.

He opposes the idea of a tax on Wall Street stock transfers.

Miller has proposed doubling the Earned Income Tax Credit for low income New Yorkers. He also wants to give a renters tax credit to all households that make under $100,000 a year.

Anthony Weiner

To reduce the city’s proposed budget deficit, Anthony Weiner promises to cut $1 to $2 billion a year from the worst-performing city agencies. Weiner also wants to sell government property through an open bidding process, which he says will generate more revenue. He also says he will fight for more aid from Albany and Washington.

Weiner proposes increasing income taxes for those who make more than $1 million a year.

He opposes taxing Wall Street stock transfers.

Weiner has proposed a 10 percent income cut for those making $150,000 or less. (Read Weiner’s tax plans)

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg says that the city’s budget can be divided into two parts: the spending that the city controls and the spending mandated by the state.

Bloomberg argues he has taken steps to reduce the budget where he can, cutting $4 billion from the budget and reducing the city’s workforce by 15,000 employees.

The city’s projected deficits, he says, are a result of things out of the city’s control, like Medicaid and pensions. He supports Medicaid reform and worked to reduce pension costs.

Although he raised taxes in the past, Bloomberg opposes increases in the income taxes or a tax on Wall Street stock transfers.

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