End the Stock Transfer Tax Rebate! Sign the Letter to Show Your Support!

SEN. James Sanders Jr.

February 25, 2021

The Honorable Andrea Stewart-Cousins
President Pro Tempore and Senate Majority Leader
188 State Street
Room 907
Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12247

The Honorable Carl Heastie
Assembly Majority Leader
Room 932
Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248

The Honorable Robert G. Ortt
Senate Minority Leader
Capitol Building
Room 315
Albany, NY 12247

The Honorable William A. Barclay
Assembly Minority Leader
Room 933
Legislative Office Building
Albany, NY 12248

The Honorable Robert G. Ortt
Senate Minority Leader
Capitol Building
Room 315
Albany, NY 12247

Dear Ms. Stewart-Cousins and Messrs. Heastie, Ortt, and Barclay ,

The State of New York is in a significant fiscal crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has proven devastating to our state’s economy. As a state, we must raise revenue or face the most severe austerity measures. As leaders and organizations dedicated to serving the people of this great state, we know that austerity measures would damage communities already suffering and this is an injustice we should not allow to happen. Senator James Sanders and Assemblyman Phil Steck have proposed legislation that would not only help our communities and essential workers impacted the most by the COVID-19 pandemic but will rebuild the public infrastructure all over the state. We believe the state must raise revenue and we urge you to do so by supporting S.1406-A/A.7791-B, which would end the practice of rebating the stock transfer tax.

While we are grateful that the federal government has indicated that they will provide temporary funding to aid state and local needs, we know it is not a permanent solution. New York has the ability to raise the revenue necessary to fill our budget gap in the short-term and provide for our state’s needs in the long-term, particularly for infrastructure, education, and healthcare. The stock transfer tax will do just that. The stock transfer tax has been on the books for over 100 years. In the early 1980’s, the state began to rebate this tax directly to brokerage houses and stockbrokers. Wall Street is the only industry that has emerged unscathed from this pandemic, and to continue to rebate its this tax, rather than fund schools, hospitals, and the social safety net, is a grave injustice. The stock transfer tax is not a punitive tax. It operates as a sales tax on qualifying stock transfers. Of the major global economies, such as London, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, New York is the only one that rebates this tax. The other economies keep the revenue and they have shown no sign of business slow-down. In addition, the tax is derived from transactions on the stock exchange meaning that an estimated 80% of its revenue will come from individuals out of state.

The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened the systemic inequalities already in our society. The disparities in education, healthcare, housing, and transportation make it harder for those most vulnerable to recover. Most alarmingly, a vast majority of the essential workers that have kept our state functioning throughout this pandemic rely on these systems. Items such as cutting hospital funding or raising public transportation fares will hurt these individuals the most. It is an injustice to balance the budget on the backs of the working man and woman especially when there is another viable option. New York can lead the way out of the pandemic-induced crisis. We urge the immediate passage and signing into law of the Stock Transfer Tax Rebate Repeal. 

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