Expand the Millionaire's Tax to Invest in New Yorkers

Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator John Flanagan, Senator Jeffrey Klein, Assemblyman Carl Heastie

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Sign the petition below, calling on the legislature to expand the Millionaire's Tax and end Governor Cuomo's self-imposed 2% spending cap.

New York has the highest inequality in the United States. While our state is home to great wealth, we also have over 3 million residents living in poverty - including 1 in 5 children.  Statewide we are experiencing record levels of homelessness and hunger.

As people of faith, we must demand that our state leaders act. New York must invest in ending poverty, hunger and homelessness, protecting healthcare, guaranteeing quality public education for every child, and creating good jobs. To do that we need the wealthiest New Yorkers - whose income has ballooned in recent decades -  to pay their fair share, and we need the Governor to stop crippling New York's budget with his self-imposed 2% spending cap.

Join other New Yorkers of faith in adding your name!

We'll deliver the petition at the Capitol on Monday, March 20 at noon. Click here for more information and to RSVP.

To: Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator John Flanagan, Senator Jeffrey Klein, Assemblyman Carl Heastie
From: [Your Name]

As New Yorkers and people of faith, we are deeply concerned by the devastating impacts of poverty and inequality on our state. In these final days of budget negotiations, we urge you to enable the public investments New York needs by expanding the Millionaire's Tax and ending the arbitrary 2 percent spending cap.

We live in a wealthy state, but because of the unequal distribution of economic resources and opportunities, millions of New Yorkers cannot make ends meet. New York's economic growth in recent decades has overwhelmingly gone to the top 1 percent of earners, leaving us with over 430,000 millionaires but more than 3 million living in poverty.

While New York's wealthiest have earned a disproportionately large share of income, they are paying a disproportionately small share in taxes. The Fiscal Policy Institute finds that the top 1 percent of New York earners pays 8.1 percent of their income in state and local taxes, compared to 12 percent paid by the middle class. This regressive tax structure is unjust, and it leaves New York with fewer resources to invest in ending poverty and building an inclusive, equitable and sustainable economy. Expanding the Millionaire's Tax will address this injustice, while raising $2 billion in additional revenue.

Raising additional revenue is not enough, however, unless New York also ends its 2 percent spending cap. This unnecessary austerity not only prevents new investments in ending poverty, it is forcing cuts to public agencies and programs that serve the most vulnerable in our communities. The self-imposed spending cap must be lifted this year.

Poverty and inequality are moral stains on our state that require immediate action. We cannot accept a status quo in which 88,000 New Yorkers are homeless, 1 in 7 struggle with hunger, and half the children in Buffalo, Binghamton, Syracuse and Rochester are poor. Especially as we face uncertain federal funding for public services, the state must respond. Expanding the Millionaire's Tax and eliminating the spending cap will help New York to do so in a way that reflects our values of justice, fairness and dignity for all.

In faith and hope,

Rev. Andrea Abbott, First Universalist Society of Central Square, Central Square
Rev. Amos Acree, Depew
Sister Joan Agro, Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt, Blauvelt
Onleilove Alston, Executive Director, Faith in New York, New York City
Jennifer Ashton, Deacon, Sherburne United Church of Christ, Sherburne
Keith Barber, Elder, First Presbyterian Church of Albany, Albany
Pastor Arthur Barnes, Bronx
Rev. Erica Baron, Kingston
Deanne Bellinger, Deacon Emerita, United Church of Christ, East Greenbush
Alan Bentz-Letts, Retired Chaplain, Flushing
Sister Milice Bohrer, Sister of St. Joseph, Cazenovia
Rev. Karen Brammer, Unitarian Universalist, Red Hook
Rev. Richard Breuninger, United Methodist Church, Oneonta
Emily Brewer, Executive Director, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, Brooklyn
Rev. Micah Bucey, Judson Memorial Church, New York City
Pastor Brad Canning, Church of Park Slope, Brooklyn
Mark Chaffin, Chaplain, Baptist Health Nursing and Rehab, Lansingburgh
Rev. Joseph Cleveland, Minister, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Saratoga Springs
Rev. Peter Cook, Executive Director, New York State Council of Churches
M. Doretta Corneil, Chair of RDC Social Justice Board, Sisters of the Divine Compassion
Minister Jeffrey Courter, Presbyterian Church (USA), Westernville
Larry Cox, Co-Director, Kairos Center for Rights, Religions and Social Justice, New York City
Sister Mary Curtin, Sisters of St. Joseph, Cazenovia
Rev. Sandy Damhof, Journey United Church of Christ, Albany
Cantor Brian DeMell, Hudson Falls
Christine DeRoller, Youth Program Director, Powell House Quaker Retreat Center, Old Chatham
Sister Grace R. Diaz, Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus & Mary, Albany
Terry Diggory, Ruling Elder, Presbyterian New England Congregational Church, Saratoga Springs
Rev. Kathy Donley, Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Albany
Rev. Pat Dupont, Pastor, The United Methodist Church
James Ercolano, Certified Lay Minister, Albany Roman Catholic Diocese
Rabbi Michael Feinberg, Executive Director, Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition, New York City
Kristina Fermann, Deacon, Loudonville Presbyterian Church, Colonie
Rabbi Brian Fink, JCC Manhattan, New York
Mary-Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Director of Community Life, Church of Gethsemane, Brooklyn
Barbara Fry, Cabinet Member, First Baptist Church, Ithaca
Pastor Dan Fullerton, Hudson River Presbytery, Ossining
Rev. Dr. Richard Gilbert, Interfaith Impact of NYS, Rochester
Sister Doreen Glynn, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Latham
Rev. Frank Graichen, Trinity United Church of Christ, Rome
Rev. Philip Grigsby, Schenectady
Rev. Dr. Charles Grimm, Rush United Methodist Church, Scottsville
Sister Maureen Harris, Sisters of St. Francis, Niagara Falls
Judy Hartley, Elder, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Albany
Avernetta Henry, Community Mission, American Baptist Women, Bronx
Bishop Howard Hubbard, Co-Chair, Labor-Religion Coalition of New York State
Mark Hyland, Stewardship Chair, Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady
Rev. Earl Ikeda, Buddhist Minister, New York Buddhist Church, New York City
Rev. Ann Kansfield, Pastor, Greenpoint Reformed Church, Brooklyn
Narinder Kapoor, Vice President, Geeta Ashram of New York, Oyster Bay
John Keevert, Co-chair, Social Justice Council, First Unitarian Church of Rochester
Pastor Carol Kessler, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Ossining
Laurie Konwinski, Labor-Religion Coalition of the Fingerlakes, Ithaca
Cantor Anne Kriz, Fairport
Suzanne Krull, Executive Director, Cuba Cultural Center, Cuba
Nicholas Laccetti, Union Theological Seminary, New York
Mark Landis, Co-Chair, Reform Jewish Voice of New York State
Richard Laskey, Co-Chair, Reform Jewish Voice of New York State
Rev. Kirk Laubenstein, Executive Director, Coalition for Economic Justice, Buffalo
Rev. Dr. Miriam Lawrence Leupold, Co-Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Albany, Albany
Rev. Glenn Leupold, Co-Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Albany, Albany
Rev. Jonathan Litzner, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Cobleskill
Rev. Alexandra Lusak, Albany Presbytery, Troy
Cantor Abbe Lyons, Cantor, Gilat Rina, Ithaca
Deni Mack, Pastoral Associate, Rochester
Rev. Roger Mapes, Mighty Companions Ministries, Brooklyn
Sister Maureen Mastine, Society of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Syracuse
Carol McLoughlin, Chairperson, Social Justice Committee, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Queens
Rev. Emily McNeill, Acting Director, Labor-Religion Coalition of NYS, Albany
Rev. John McNeill, Senior Pastor, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Ithaca
Asher Joy Lillian Menashe, Multi-Faith Resident, Community of Living Traditions, Stony Point
Rev. Chantilly Mers-Pickett, Christian Church Disciples of Christ, New York City
Rev. Danielle Miller, Oceanside
Sister Marybeth Moore, Sister of Charity, Wantagh
Sister Dorothy Murray, Albany
Kevin Nelson, Home Missioner, First United Methodist Church, Schenectady
Rev. Alan Newton, Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of the Rochester/Genesee Region
Rabbi Dan Ornstein, Albany
Rev. Emily Otto, United Church of Christ, Voorheesville
Joseph Paparone, Advocacy Coordinator, FOCUS Churches of Albany
Rev. Joseph Perdue, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Cooperstown
Rev. Dr. Peter Peters, St. Luke & St. Simon Cyrene Episcopal Church, Fairport
Jean Poppei, Chair, Social Responsibilities Council, Albany Unitarian Universalist
Rev. Elizabeth Quick, Pastor, Gouverneur First United Methodist Church, Nulato
Rev. Erik Rasmussen, Long Island Council of Churches Board, Wynantskill
Rev. Konrad Raup, United Church of Christ, Albany
Pastor Tamara Razzano, First Presbyterian Church, Little Falls
Catherine Reid, Campus Minister, Catholic Campus Ministry, University at Albany
Deb Riitano, Executive Director, Capital Area Council of Churches
Rev. Dr. Raymond Rivera, President/Senior Pastor, Latino Pastoral Action Center/Sanctuary Church, Bronx
Kathryn Seib Vargas, Formation Coordinator, L’Arche, Ossining
Rev. Connie Seifert, First United Methodist Church, Corning
Rev. James Sheehan, Campus Ministry, Bronx
Rev. Bonnie Shoultz, Zen Studies Society & Zen Center of Syracuse
Sister Margaret Sikora, Franciscan Sisters of Atonement, Garrison
Bishop Prince Singh, Bishop, Episcopal Diocese of Rochester
Robb Smith, Executive Director, Interfaith Impact of NYS
Rev. Steven Smith, Lead Pastor, Newtonville United Methodist Church, Newtonville
Rev. William Spilly, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Hamlin
Rev. Katy Stenta, New Covenant Presbyterian Church, Colonie
Rev. Eve Stevens, Unitarian Universalist Church of Utica
Sister Mary Jane Sullivan, Society of the Sacred Heart, Albany
Rev. Marti Swords-Horrell, Christ Church United Methodist, Troy
Father Tim Taugher, Binghamton
Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Co-Director, Kairos Center for Rights, Religions and Social Justice, New York City
Rev. Barbara Toll, Altamont
Rev. Phil Tom, Eastchester Presbyterian Church, Mt. Vernon
Julio Torres, Student Minister, Community Church of New York Unitarian Universalist, New York
Rev. Sam Trumbore, Minister, First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany
Sister Mary Ellen Twisy, Sisters of Mercy, Orchard Park
Rev. Shannan Vance-Ocampo, Albany Presbytery, Presbyterian Church (USA), Troy
Donna Walker, Pastoral Associate, Saint Kateri Parish, Irondequoit
Rabbi Brian Walt, Tikkun v’Or: Ithaca Reform Temple, Ithaca
Angela Warner, Director, Social Justice Ministries, Church of St. Vincent De Paul, Albany
Rev. Kris Watson, Associate Pastor, Safe Haven UCC, New York
Diana Weaving, Social Justice Ministry Co-Chair, UU Fellowship of Huntington
Rev. William C. Webb, Vicar, St. Simon Episcopal Church, Buffalo
Samuel Wilson, Jr., Deacon, Bronx
Rev. Dustin Wright, Pastor, Messiah Lutheran Church, Schenectady
Barbara Zaron, Steering Committee, Reform Jewish Voice of New York State, Bethlehem
Sister Joyce Gadoua, Cohoes
Sister Mary Marvin, Sisters of Mercy, Rochester
Sister Mary Ellen Schopfer, Sisters of St. Joseph, Utica
Rev. Andrew Wilkes, Associate Pastor of Young Adults and Social Justice, Greater Allen AME Cathedral of New York, Queens