• Mateo the Mayor Staff

NYS Must Cancel New Taxes & Cut Red Tape to Create Value

Updated: Mar 24

Mateo the Mayor Campaign | MAR 20, 2021

March 17, 2021

NYS Senate Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins 188 State Street Legislative Office Building, Room 907 Albany, NY 12247 Phone: (518) 455-2585 | Fax: (518) 426-6811

NYS Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie LOB 932 Albany, NY 12248 Phone: 518-455-3791 | Fax: 518-455-5459

Dear Leader Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Heastie, and members of the New York State Legislature:

I read with great dismay about the possibility of the New York Stock Exchange leaving New York City because of over-taxation.

More harm will be done if the latest proposals to raise $4.3 billion through increasing the “State Personal Income Tax” surcharge, capital gains tax, estate tax, and expansion of the business tax surcharge are not abandoned immediately. Given the toll COVID has taken on families, it is particularly offensive to increase taxes on the deceased at this time. There are other options available to help New Yorkers restart our economic engines to create at least $4.3 billion in new value.

Currently, New York City faces a real-estate glut as the pandemic keeps workers home. Bloomberg reported that the amount of sublease space is up 73% in lower Manhattan and 36% in midtown. If offices remain empty and big companies seek to exit New York, there will be no one left to tax but for the small businesses who are already suffering from draconian shutdowns. Work with the business community to remain open, do not attack us with more taxes.

As a business-owner and family man, I implore you to STOP THE RICH-HUNT!

Creating more cost-centers will cause more New Yorkers to flee and cripple our economic recovery. A better alternative is to set more disciplined priorities. For years, New York has zapped ratepayers with additional fees and surcharges on cell phone, cable, electric, and other utility bills. Consider allocating those monies toward their intended purposes and stop misusing them as a budget stop gaps.

The elimination of unfunded mandates could go a long way toward alleviating the burden placed on municipalities. Further, as the legalization of marijuana takes shape, ensure access for bodegas and corner stores to become dispensaries. Including the people that have been historically punished by New York’s drug laws will turn the page on this sordid history. Make a fair and equitable process for locals to enter the marijuana market. It will lead to reconciliation between the police and community, and, more importantly, it will achieve economic revitalization through significant investments, new revenues, and increased employment in black and brown communities.

With this in mind, we also need lawmakers to think bigger on energy and infrastructure! There is a movement to transition to electric modes of transportation; however, there is no movement to ensure we have enough power to meet growing demand. Now is the time for a bold energy agenda that includes the installation of electric charging stations as well as expanding distributed-generation plants to lower the price of electricity, increase reliability, and improve access to clean power sources.

New power structures ought to be designed into new public spaces that play a dual role in protecting the environment and promoting open space. One such ambitious project worth committing to is covering large portions of the Cross Bronx, Brooklyn-Queens, and Van Wyck Expressways with green parks. It will reduce emissions and improve health outcomes in “Asthma Alleys.” This will make quality of life better while reducing long term health care costs. The savings and thousands of jobs created from clean, green, smart infrastructure projects are the types of strategic planning we need to build our way back.

New York must go big again! New York must invest in its future, not spend its time or treasure on lost liabilities. If we are to build the above projects, then we must reverse course on the current plan to build more jails in New York City. This means we should replace the bad management and toxic culture at Riker’s Island to generate positive outcomes. It also means we should use the monies slated to close Rikers to build new vocational and health-science schools to train and prepare the workforce for the hard work ahead. These measures represent the will of the people and the will of the business community.

We are asking you to work with us to fix New York City.

Everyone is struggling, especially New York’s real estate sector. Do not make a bad problem worse by prescribing defeatist policies that only satisfy partisan politics. This is no time for double-talk. Specifically, do not tell the restaurant and hospitality industries that you are helping them by making it more costly for them to do business. How do you expect tourism or the financial sector to come back if the approach remains race to the bottom? The potential loss of the NYSE adds a double jeopardy with the loss of thousands of direct and indirect jobs along with the billions in revenues they generate.

Simply put, there is no need to raise taxes. You will cause more harm than good.

Protect New York JOBS! Do not be penny wise and pound foolish. We cannot afford to lose. The federal relief bill provided significant resources to leverage for the public benefit. We can win for New York City by using what we have and working with markets as adjustments are made to adapt to new COVID world.

I hope you embrace these practical ideas and I look forward to discussing them with you soon as New York’s next Jobs Protecting Mayor.


Fernando Mateo Candidate for Mayor of New York City


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