NYC Gives Away 1.5 Billion to Banks and Millionaires
May 9, 2011
By Neal Tepel
The May 12 Coalition, a growing group of community, labor, and progressive groups, released a report, titled PAY BACK TIME: $1.5 Billion Ways to Save Our City’s Budget and Make the Big Banks and Millionaires Pay Their Fair Share. The report exposes $1.5 billion in subsidies, sweetheart deals and tax loopholes that big banks and the super rich receive from the City.
The document identifies $1.5 billion in savings that the City could realize to reverse the worst proposed budget cuts, including huge reductions to schools, police, firehouses, senior centers, child care, disability, antipoverty and HIV/AIDS programs.By ending big bank subsidies now and demanding the repayment of unearned and excess subsidies $300 million could be saved. Ensuring fair share taxes and eliminating tax breaks and loopholes for millionaires, hedge funds and private equity firms $781 million could be collected. Demanding that big banks stop harmful practices like toxic interest rate swaps, and mortgage foreclosures and fee avoidance could net $362 million. Cutting the cost of NYC contracts with big banks would add $120 million.
“It's time to end the unconscionable tax benefits and loopholes that this city provides banks and hedge funds. The nation's largest banks, which received $877 billion in taxpayer money and are showing record profits, while hedge funders take advantage of the current tax code to avoid paying their fair share. As the city and its working families face the threat of layoffs, income loss and cuts in vital services, Wall Street needs to do the right thing for the city that makes their profits possible,” said Michael Mulgrew, president of the United Federation of Teachers, a member of the coalition.
"The May 12 Coalition's report on the damage that the financial sector has caused to our City is eye opening and demands considerable attention in the upcoming budget negotiations. Mayor Bloomberg must act accordingly," said the co-chairs of the City Council's Progressive Caucus, Melissa Mark Viverito (D-Manhattan) and Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn).
The May 12 Coalition comprises dozens of New York’s leading unions, community groups, non profits and advocacy organizations. The group is working together on a week of mobilization and actions from May 9-12 that will highlight the connection between special deals for big banks and super rich and revenue gaps in the City budget.