Top New York Democrats rally to fight GOP tax plan
Some of the state's top Democrats gathered at City Hall Sunday to warn that proposed tax reforms being floated in Congress will have a severe impact on New Yorkers' bottom line.
The tax reform bill, which could get a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives this week, would limit the amount of property taxes New Yorkers can deduct — a significant hit to many in high-tax states like New York and New Jersey. Mayor Bill de Blasio stood with Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand as well as Reps. Nydia Velázquez, Joe Crowley and Carolyn Maloney to decry the proposal as a “monstrosity” and “scam.”
“This is not a plan that was built for the middle class — that would look entirely different,” de Blasio said. “This is a plan that, for so many middle class families and working class families, it is going to hurt them. Fact is, hard working people have been struggling for a long time, for decades, struggling to get ahead and never feeling like they were. This tax plan would actually set a lot of them back and it’s going to particularly hurt great cities of our nation. This tax plan hurts New York City to the core, and when you mess with New York City, New York City fights back.”
Surrounded by an energetic and vocal crowd, which periodically broke into chants of “Kill the bill,” each speaker took turns painting the bill as a major threat to middle class and working New Yorkers.
“This [tax bill] is morally wrong, this will explode the deficit just to give a huge tax cut to the wealthiest families in this country," Velázquez said. "This bill takes a wrecking ball to our middle-class. It is an outright assault on working families here in New York City and around the nation."
Schumer cited Republican members of New York's congressional delegation who have stood against the bill, describing them as “strong and resolute” for their actions. But he also singled out those who are in support of it.
“Where is Congressman [John] Faso?” Schumer said, while the crowd echoed the question in support. “Where is Congresswoman [Elise] Stefanik? Where is Congresswoman [Claudia] Tenney? Where is Congressman [John] Katko? Where is Congressman [Chris] Collins? Where is Congressman [Tom] Reed?”
He followed up with a brief history lesson, pointing out the Republican tax plan, and its elimination of property tax deductions, wasn’t always a partisan issue.
“Back in 1986, Democrats actually tried to do the same thing,” Schumer said. “The New Jersey and New York delegations, Democrats and Republicans together, said no and they had to take it out. We want that to happen here. Taking it out won’t make a bad bill good but it’ll make it slightly less bad and, besides, if they have to take it out it’ll take the whole bill with it.
Schumer and others alluded to Republicans' failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, saying if opponents remained resolute, the current tax plan would end in a similar fashion.
"We are here to say, 'No compromise, no taking away our state and local deductibility, no bill that hurts the middle class, hurts the poor, and gives almost every penny of it’s help to the wealthy and the powerful corporations,'" Schumer said. "We will win this fight.”