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Green New Deal to Revive Upstate Economy

Green New Deal to Revive Upstate Economy

For immediate release: August 9, 2018

Hawkins says Green New Deal will revive upstate economy
Says Cuomo’s corrupt, trickle-down, pay-to-play economic development as faile​d

Howie Hawkins the Green Party candidate for Governor, renewed his call for a Green New Deal to increase upstate jobs, wages, and business development. Hawkins also wants to lower property taxes by getting rid of the local property tax cap and replacing it with increased state revenue sharing with local governments.

“Cuomo’s economic development policy of tax cuts and subsidies for the rich and corporations has failed to revive the upstate economy. It’s the old supply-side trickle-down theory that has failed for 40 years. Cuomo has taken it to a new level of pay-to-play corruption, but upstate is still economically depressed,” said Hawkins.

The Green New Deal combines a transition to 100% clean energy by 2030 with targeted public investments directly into the energy, housing, transportation, and water and sewage infrastructure of struggling communities upstate. It will lower the costs of doing business by lowering energy, health care, broadband, and property tax costs to business.

A 2013 studyby Stanford and Cornell professors found that a rapid transition to clean energy by 2030 would create 4 million plus jobs (300,000 so-called 40-year jobs) in building solar and wind power and retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency and geothermal heat pumps for heating and cooling. It would also lower electric rates by 50% compared to continued reliance on fossil and nuclear fuels.

“The climate crisis threatens the future of humanity. We need a full-scale mobilization to halt fossil fuel usage and move to clean energy,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins added that infrastructure investments including public transportation, public broadband, and water “will create good jobs and the public goods that private business needs to thrive.” Public ownership of the energy system has been shown to provide energy at significantly lower costthan private utilities. A Harvard studyfound that public broadband provides service at substantially lower cost than private telecoms.

Hawkins also stated his support for a single payer universal care system. The NY Health Act will lower the costs of health care for 95% of New Yorkers and lower the payroll costs for employers of providing employee health care.

Hawkins would lower upstate’s highest-in-the-nation property taxes by having the state pay for its unfunded mandates and by restoring state revenue sharing with local governments to its former level of 8% of state revenues (now frozen by Cuomo at 4/10ths of 1%). “Cuomo and the Democrats and Republicans in the legislature are balancing the state budget on the backs of local property taxpayers,” Hawkins said.

“Cuomo’s tax cap hasn’t lowered property taxes,” noted Hawkins. “It’s a campaign slogan, not a realistic property tax reduction program. It puts a one-size-fits-all central mandate on local governments, which have varied needs and circumstances. The state should lift the tax cap, pay for its mandates, share its revenues, and let local communities decide their priorities among local government services and property and sales tax reduction,” he added.

Hawkins said the state’s needs to redirect its economic and tax policies to address income inequality, the worst in the nation. The richest 1% now gets 30% of all income in the state, up from 12% in 1980. While taxes on the rich have been cut repeatedly over this four decades, the bottom income tax bracket was doubled from 2% to 4%, while regressive property and sales taxes were increased. Meanwhile, wages have been stagnant while health care and housing costs have skyrocketed.

“The rich are investing their increased income and wealth in financial assets, not the real economy of producing goods and services,” noted Hawkins. “Cuomo’s and Trump’s trickle-down economics don’t work.”

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