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Mayor: No Stock-Transfer Tax / City would lose some jobs, he says

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

services.

Renewing his pitch for a $1.4-billion commuter tax, Bloomberg threw cold

water on other revenue-raising suggestions, including a temporary income-tax

surcharge.

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The stock-transfer tax, repealed in 1981, could earn the city as much as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

unions.

"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."

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