On November 30th, the Labor-Religion Coalition joined allies in New York City for the launch of the 2024 Invest in Our New York Campaign. A continuation of a years-long effort, the Invest in Our New York Campaign seeks to protect and expand programs our communities rely on by imposing greater taxes on New York’s wealthiest residents. In a year where Governor Hochul and her team have already begun to signal a budget deficit for FY25—and their desire to push through an austerity budget—this work is critical now more than ever.
The Invest in Our New York bill package consists of five bills, all of which are designed to stabilize the state’s revenue by raising taxes on the top 5% of New Yorkers, as well as the most profitable corporations in the state. This attempt to change the way revenue is generated in New York State could not come at a better time. As previously mentioned, the Hochul Administration has already warned of a budget deficit in FY25, which past experience has shown us means a reduction in both public spending and social services—and it will likely prove to be a nightmare for the millions of New Yorkers that rely on these services.
At the campaign launch rally, we heard from advocates, allies, and lawmakers from across the state, all of whom recognize the early warning signs. Chief among many people’s concerns is the reduction in public spending, and how that might impact public education and after-school programs for children. For many working-class people, programs that fill the gap between the end of the school day and the end of the work day are essential, and losing programs that provide that care means making the choice between leaving children unsupervised and potential income.
It should be no surprise, then, that the energy at the rally was palpable. Between speakers we heard cries of “Tax the rich,” and chants calling on the state to force its wealthiest residents to pay their fair share. And the truth is, they should. New York has the worst economic inequality in the nation. For too long, our state has skimped on critical resources for our communities, while the richest New Yorkers and corporations accumulate obscene wealth. If the super-wealthy paid even just a little bit more, the state could invest in affordable housing programs or expand immigration legal services, which would address the ongoing “migrant crisis” conservative politicians keep referencing but fail to offer substantive solutions to. The modest increases that IONY proposes would bring in a projected $40 billion in revenue for the state each year, and that is money that should be spent increasing access to public services that benefit all New Yorkers.
You can learn more about the Invest in Our New York Campaign here.