The Real Deal New York

Bruce Ratner backs NYC tax hike, higher minimum wage: VIDEO

January 30, 2014 02:26PM

Forest City Ratner’s Bruce Ratner embraces both President Obama’s call for a boost to the federal minimum wage and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed tax hike on New York City’s wealthiest residents.

The current income inequality, Ratner said in an appearance on Bloomberg TV Wednesday, actually winds up costing all tax payers more in the form of subsidizing health insurance, food stamps and other government aid that props up ill-paid workers.

“We are the ones who are subsidizing the Walmart worker,” he said on the program. “Why should I subsidize a Walmart worker? Walmart should pay for it.”

With regard to de Blasio’s planned tax hike to fund universal pre-school, Ratner noted evidence that access to such education lifts everyone’s eventual income and economic well being. And, he noted, the plan to lift taxes on the 1 percent isn’t anything new.

“The city increased city taxes for nine years under Giuliani and Dinkins for cops … we’re going to now talk about increasing taxes less than that for education.”

And, Ratner said, he can handle the increased expense.

“After tax, for a person who earns a million dollars, it’s a thousand dollars a year,” he told Bloomberg reporters. “It’s going to have to come from people like me, I don’t mind it. I can afford it.” [Bloomberg TV]Julie Strickland