Teachers union pushes for new taxes on the rich

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Andrew Voigt, a member of the NYSUT board of directors, carries a cutout of Gov. Cuomo during a 2015 protest in Utica. (AP Photo/Observer-Dispatch, Mark DiOrio)

ALBANY N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State United Teachers, which represents 600,000 workers, launched a marketing campaign on Friday that connects new taxes on the ultrawealthy to a potential increase in public education funds.

The campaign highlights increased poverty levels and the failure to fully fund public schools in New York. In the ads, students from low-income households are explicitly contrasted with rich New Yorkers.

In its first spot, the teacher’s union presents splashy quotes that underscore what they say are the skewed priorities of an economic system that promotes income inequality:

  • “New York City is home to nearly 1 million millionaires, more than any other city in the world.”
  • “Study finds N.Y. income disparity greatest in nation.”
  • The “top 1% make 44x more than the bottom 99%.”

According to NYSUT, shortchanging schools means kids don’t get the educations necessary to survive and succeed.

“More than 90 percent of New Yorkers support new taxes on the ultrawealthy because they know that it is time for those at the top to pay their fair share,” says NYSUT President Andy Pallotta in a statement. “We need to fund our future so New York schools don’t have to go without the social workers, classroom technology and supplies they need.”

By their estimates, over a hundred New Yorker billionaires own fortunes worth $525 billion. New taxes for those billionaires and for the 46,000 multimillionaires in the state would bring in over $12 billion in revenues, the union says.

Currently, the state faces a $6.1 billion budget deficit.

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