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Hawkins Releases Tax Returns: Says they show how Democrats and Republicans balance the state budget on the backs of local property taxpayers

Hawkins Releases Tax Returns: Says they show how Democrats and Republicans balance the state budget on the backs of local property taxpayers

For immediate release: May 7, 2018

SYRACUSE, May 7, 2018 -- Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins has released his income tax returns for 2009 through 2017. As a 2014 gubernatorial candidate, he released his tax forms for 2009 through 2013, which can be found here . His tax forms for 2014 through 2017 can be found here .

As a working Teamster who unloaded trucks overnight at UPS until March of this year, Hawkins earned close to the median household income for his home town of Syracuse ($32,704 in 2016). The median household income for New York was $62,909 in 2016, the latest figure available.

Hawkins disclosed that in 2017 he earned $28,443 in wages, $83 in interest, $9,332 in dividends, and $43,438 in capital gains for a total income of $81,438. The capital gains came from Hawkins selling shares in a stock index mutual fund to buy shares in a bond index mutual fund in order to balance his retirement savings as he approached retirement.

He paid $3,382 in federal income taxes and $3,578 in state income taxes in 2017.

Hawkins provided a chart showing his sources of income and taxes for 2009 through 2017. Until he had capital gains income in 2016 and 2017 that raised his income tax well beyond his income taxes in previous years, Hawkins was paying four to six times more in property taxes than he was in state income taxes.

"My taxes illustrate how the two major parties who rule Albany balance the state budget on the backs of local property taxpayers. Unfunded state mandates make local property taxes pay for 7% of state programs. The state should pay for their own programs through the more progressive state income tax," Hawkins said.

Hawkins said that high property taxes are a major reason why so many working-class renters and homeowners do not have affordable housing. A 2014 State Comptroller's study found that over one-half of renters and over one-third of homeowners in New York State pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing, which is the federal standard for affordable housing. More than one in four renters pay more than 50% of their income for rent, out of which landlords pay property taxes.

"Governor Cuomo's 2% tax cap hasn't cut New York's sky high property taxes. The way to cut property taxes is for the state to pay for its unfunded mandates, restore previous levels of state revenue sharing with local governments, and fully fund public schools. Then local governments will be able to cut property taxes while still providing good services," Hawkins said.

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