250 CEOs and CEOs voice ‘alarm’ over largest tax increase in New York history

New York State Government Andrew Cuomo speaks at a news conference on September 8, 2020 in New York.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images

A group of 250 CEOs and business leaders have sent a letter to the governor and legislators of New York expressing ‘alarm’ about what they believe could be the largest spending and tax increase in the state’s history.

The letter, which was delivered to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the Democratic members of the state House and Senate, urged politicians to postpone tax increases until after the state and New York City have fully recovered from the pandemic and the return of workers. As employers of more than 1.5 million people, managers said many of their workers have moved out of the city and if taxes increase “they will vote with their feet.”

“Only about 10% of our colleagues are in the office and the prospects for the future of a dense urban workplace are uncertain,” the letter reads. “Many members of our staff have relocated their families to other locations, usually with much lower taxes than New York, and the proposed tax increases will make it harder for them to return.”

Signatories to the letters include Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Chairman and CEO of BlackRock Inc., Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, CEO of Jane Citrasoup, Citigroup, and CEO of JetBlue, Robin Hayes. The group said a significant corporate and individual tax increase would make it much more difficult to restart the economic engine and reassemble the deep and diverse pool of talent that makes New York the largest city in the world. ‘

‘It’s not about companies threatening the state; it’s just about our people voting with their feet, ‘reads the letter. “Ultimately, this new tax could cause a huge loss of economic activity and revenue, as pressure is put on companies to move their operations to where the talent wants to live and work. This is what happened to New York during the “1970s, when we lost half of our Fortune. 500 companies, and it took thirty years to recover.”

Government Cuomo’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Democratic members of state assembly and senate have proposed a series of tax increases on companies and high earners that could fetch $ 6 billion a year. They say the pandemic has increased inequality in New York and higher taxes on companies and high earners are needed to fund social programs and reduce the wealth gap.

Yet New York’s budget has improved recently. The state will receive $ 12.5 billion in unlimited funds from the federal stimulus bill, and New York State Director Robert Mujica said the stimulus funds and stronger-than-expected tax revenues will enable the state to avoid planned budget cuts .

The group said it understood the “urgent human needs” and inequalities exposed by the pandemic, but that proposed tax increases or policy changes should come after the recovery of New York.

‘Once we are on the road to repairing more than one million jobs and thousands of small businesses that New York has lost in the last twelve months, it may be necessary to raise new revenue to address the gaps in our education, health and social to fill. welfare systems, ‚ÄĚreads the letter.

Rebecca Bailin, campaign manager for Invest in Our New York, an effort to fund social programs by taxing the rich, said the letter “250 rich people in their homes are advocating for status quo”.

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