NY business leaders form group to oppose more taxes

Former Gov. David Paterson is leading the effort

TRD New York /
Aug.August 25, 2020 09:16 AM
From left: New York Building Congress' Carlo Scissura, New York City Hospitality Alliance Andrew Rigie, former Governor David Peterson and former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields (Getty, Wikipedia)

From left: New York Building Congress’ Carlo Scissura, New York City Hospitality Alliance’s Andrew Rigie, former Gov. David Paterson and former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields (Getty, Wikipedia)

UPDATED Aug. 25, 2020, 10:50 am: A new business group in New York has formed to beat back potential tax increases and says it will spend millions to help the state’s economy.

The “Campaign for New York’s Future” includes representatives from the construction, real-estate, hospitality and technology industries, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Former New York Gov. David Paterson is chairing the organization.

At the top of its agenda is growing the state’s tax base while opposing new taxes. Paterson said the group would lobby against taxes on financial transactions and wealth in addition to tax increases on the highest earners.

The organization was formed as others call for new taxes on the wealthy and pieds-à-terre in response to the severe budget crisis facing the city and state. The de Blasio administration says the pandemic will cost the city $9 billion of tax revenue over the next two years and the state is looking at a $15 billion hole. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says it needs $12 billion.

Board members include New York City Hospitality Alliance executive director Andrew Rigie; Carlo Scissura, head of the New York Building Congress; Riders Alliance executive director Betsy Plum; Keith Wofford, a Ropes & Gray LLP partner; former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields; and former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión Jr., according to the Journal.

The Real Estate Board of New York and Partnership for New York City are not involved, unlike at the beginning of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s term when they were big backers of a similar effort called the Committee to Save New York. Cuomo opposes new state taxes on the wealthy, saying it would chase them out of New York.

Two sources told The Real Deal that Bradley Tusk, a former campaign manager for Michael Bloomberg, helped put the new group together. A spokesperson for Tusk Strategies later confirmed that the firm was hired to run the campaign — the media outreach and strategy, and to recruit partners.

It was not immediately clear who is funding the effort, given that its board does not represent memberships with vast resources, but one board member said “a bunch of different groups have contributed.” Tusk did not immediately respond to an email. [WSJ] — Keith Larsen


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