Diverse Groups Plan Day of Theatrics to Highlight Broken Tax System

For Immediate Release:

Contact: Deanna Bitetti

April 18, 2011


Diverse Groups Plan Day of Theatrics to Highlight Broken Tax System

Rallies, candy and dancing to emphasize the need for sensible tax policy

On April 18, 2010 diverse groups from all over New York City, including Common Cause/NY and Billionaires for Millionaires, Community Voices Heard, US Uncut NYC and MoveOn, will be engaging in unique actions to highlight our broken tax system- demanding that the highest income earners in the state and corporations making money off of US subsidies and tax loopholes pay their fair share. They will be calling on their elected officials on the Federal, State and City to help to fix our broken income tax system – that disproportionately taxes the poor and gives tax breaks to those making half a million dollars a year or more. We all benefit from a state government which can invest in more jobs and a better infrastructure. A broken tax system places New York State at a disadvantage in the national and global market place.

Corporations need to pay their fair share: Nearly two-thirds of US corporations don’t pay any income t axes, instead opting to exploit tax loopholes and offshore tax havens. According to a study from the non-partisan Government Accountability Office, 83 of the top 100 publicly traded corporations that operate in the US exploit corporate tax havens. Since 2009, America’s most profitable companies such as ExxonMobil, General Electric, Bank of America and Citigroup, all paid a grand total of $0 in federal income taxes.

Millionaires need to pay their fair share: Polls show that a consistently strong majority of voters support taxing the top 1% or 2% of earners in each state. A Marist Poll, for instance, found that 64% of New York voters support preserving New York’s millionaire’s tax, which only effects residents of the state who earn $500,000 or more a year. New York State has one of the highest income inequality rates in the country. Top earners in New York are paying less than their proportionate share given their extraordinarily high income, irrespective of the statutorily fixed tax rate, according to data put out by the Fiscal Policy Institute.

Why can’t our leaders fix this broken system? The amount of campaign dollars going to political coffers is often cited in discussions of the inability of our elected officials to stay impartial when deciding on tax policy in America. The top twelve top corporate tax dodgers spent over $1 billion in political money over the past decade to help maintain their tax breaks and corporate loopholes, according to a new report “The Artful Dodgers,” by campaign finance watchdog Public Campaign. In NYS alone, more than $246 million was raised for statewide and state legislative races for the 2010 election period by mostly wealthy donors.

“New Yorkers deserve a better tax policy in this state – that proportionately taxes the high income earners and wealthy corporations that are able to make money because of the benefits provided and public investments made by our state. Continued tax breaks and tax loopholes for corporations and wealthy campaign contributors while senior centers and essential services to ordinary New Yorkers are cut yet again is simply unacceptable.” Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY

“Samuel Winnacker, the GE whistleblower who brought to light GE’s attempt to silence supporters of its’ $3.2 Billion Tax Gift plan, would like to add a quote: While I officially don’t ally myself with any leftist causes, I do sympathize with the messages of Common Cause/NY, MoveOn and USUncut in the realm of corporate tax evasion. Here at GE, we are doing our part to change our tarnished image.” Justin Wedes, US Uncut NYC Chapter (http://www.genewscenters.com/Press-Releases/GE-Responds-to-Public-Outcry.html)

“It is time to let the rich know that it is time they pay their fair share and to ask the wealthy to support the continuation of the millionaires tax. We, the poor, continue to struggle while the very wealthy continue to prosper off our backs. On April 18th communities will join together in solidarity to get out the message that a millionaires tax is needed to bring income equality to our state.” Agnes Rivera, Communities Voice Heard

Meanwhile, members of Billionaires For Millionaires will tour the city in a limousine, expressing gratitude toward middle-class taxpayers on behalf of the wealthiest .01 percent: “Never have so many given so much to so few for so little in return,” said Lu Poal .”Thanks for paying our fair share!” added Robin Eublind. Acknowledging those calling for progressive taxation, Miss Dee Regulation said, “If people don’t like us securing loopholes to avoid paying billions in taxes, they should just get their own lobbyists. Nobody’s stopping them.” Billionaire for Millionaires

A list of events happening on April 18th around New York City:

Who: MoveOn (http://pol.moveon.org/event/events/event.html?event_id=113939&id=)

What: Theatrical Presentation of Tax Bill to Bank of America & Rally

Where: Bryant Park

When: 12:30pm

Please contact: Maria Schafer, Regional Coordinator for MoveOn, 914-330-3909

Who: US Uncut NY (http://usuncut.org/actions/367)

Where: James A. Farley Post Office

What: Rally and Candy giveaway

When: 5pm

Please contact: US Uncut NY: 347.688.0241

Who: Right to the City Alliance

What: Surprise Action (be on the lookout for a unique event you don’t want to miss!)

When: 6pm

Please contact: Monique “Mo” George, Community Voices Heard, (646) 407-0298

And follow all of our tweets about the events throughout the City at #weareny and #makethempay