Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday torpedoed the idea of
reviving the city's stock-transfer tax, which proponents say would spread
budget sacrifice more equitably among the rich and poor in New York.
The stock tax "is really a job-killing tax," the mayor told reporters, a
day after releasing his $1-billion-"Doomsday" contingency budget plan that
includes slashing funding to day-care centers, welfare programs and homeless
Renewing his pitch for a $1.4-billion commuter tax, Bloomberg threw cold
water on other revenue-raising suggestions, including a temporary income-tax
Earlier in the day, Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolman's Benevolent
Association, said he favored a surcharge similar to the one used to bankroll
the hiring of thousands of cops a decade ago.
"We have a high personal income tax between the state and the city
already," the mayor said.
He also dismissed possible sales-tax increases as "very regressive and also
very easy to avoid."
The stock-transfer tax, repealed in 1981, could earn the city as much as
$2.75 billion a year - which would cover most of this year's $3.8-billion
deficit - according to the state Legislature's Black, Puerto Rican and Hispanic
Legislative Caucus, which backs the proposal.
Bloomberg, whose company's financial data system is a fixture at many Wall
Street trading companies, said the tax would backfire by driving traders to
other stock exchanges around the world.
"Brokerage firms would just clear those trades in London or another city,"
Bloomberg said. "They literally throw the switch and the business goes
elsewhere. ...It might, in fact, force back-office jobs out of the city."
But London, Tokyo and Paris already impose stock transfer taxes that cost
more than any of the New York proposals, said James Parrott, chief economist
with the Fiscal Policy Institute, a think-tank funded by the state's labor
"The mayor knows full well that the tax is among the lowest factors that
enter into the decision about which stock market to use," Parrott said. "He's
not a novice to this industry."