Tax the Rich

As democratic socialists, we believe that the rich in our society should pay to fund social programs that benefit the vast majority. In the long run, we support confiscatory taxation to claw back the profits of the capitalist class in order to build a more just and egalitarian society — one in which classes no longer exist and income differences are kept within very modest bounds. In the near future we demand that local and state officials make the following changes to our tax system.

  • Soak the rich and corporations by immediately passing a series of state tax increases on the billionaires and millionaires, as outlined by Strong Economy for All, to make the state tax system more progressive. These measures could include:

    • Passing an ultra-millionaires tax that adds new, higher rates on marginal incomes above $1 million.

    • Closing the carried interest loophole in order to bring back a tax on hedge fund and private equity managers.

    • Enacting a “pied-a-terre” luxury real estate tax that will target absentee homeowners and investment properties, while encouraging developers to build units closer to the middle and lower-income ends of the market.

    • Bringing back the stock transfer “fairness fee” that keeps money that is already collected from, but currently rebated back to, Wall Street traders for every stock transfer.

    • Enacting a stock buyback transfer tax to tax stock buybacks and discourage unproductive practices that primarily benefit shareholders.

    • Ending the condo tax break.

    • Making the New York estate tax more progressive.

    • Amending and increase New York City and State’s capital gains tax, which currently enables income received from profits on the sale of investments to be taxed at a lower rate than the same amount received from salaries and wages.

  • End all corporate welfare such as state capital grants and as-of-right tax credits, including those such as the Excelsior Jobs Credit Tax Program, the Relocation and Expansion Assistance Program (REAP), and the Industrial and Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP) previously promised to Amazon. Eliminate unjust depreciation policies that enable developers to escape their fare share of the tax burden.

  • End regressive taxation and repeal most state and city sales taxes, which are highly regressive. Adopt a new luxury sales tax on expensive luxury items and oppose carbon taxes on consumers and congestion pricing that does not include a redistributive mechanism, such as the carbon tax-and-dividend proposal.

  • Allow home rule on local income taxes. Permit all local governments to set their own income tax, as New York City and Yonkers are already allowed, and allow local governments including New York City and Yonkers to adjust their own income tax schedule without oversight from Albany.

  • End the statewide cap on local property tax rates.

  • Equalize and re-assess all property taxes in the city at their full market value. Right now condominiums, new apartment buildings, and large single-family homes are dramatically under-assessed, shifting the tax burden onto older rental units, small homes, and ultimately the pocketbooks of working-class New Yorkers.

  • Support a democratic economy by creating a set of tax deductions and tax credits for firms and businesses that transition to employee-owned and workers’ cooperative models of ownership and governance.