(SYRACUSE, NY) Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins has released his income tax returns for 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009. They can be found here.
A working Teamster who unloads trucks overnight at UPS, Hawkins earns close to the median household income for his home town of Syracuse ($28,807 in 2012).
Hawkins disclosed that in 2013 he earned $22,273 in wages, $65 in interest, and $7,524 in dividends for a total gross income of $29,962. Because Hawkins contributes the maximum allowable to his 401k and IRA retirement accounts, his taxable wage income was reduced to $12,078, for a total of $19,667 taxable income. He paid $246 in federal income taxes and $458 in state income taxes.
Hawkins also paid $1,773 in property taxes on his home in Syracuse, which was two and a half times greater than his combined state and federal income taxes.
"My taxes illustrate what working New Yorkers already know. New York's highest-in-the-nation property taxes are too damn high," Hawkins said.
Hawkins noted high property taxes are a major reason why a March 2014 report from the State Comptroller's office found that one-half of renters and one-third of homeowners in New York State pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing. 30 percent is the federal standard for affordable housing.
"We need to shift more of our combined state and local tax burden from the regressive property tax to the progressive income tax by restoring the more progressive tax system New York had in the 1970s" Hawkins said. "That would give 95 percent of us an income tax cut, increase state revenues by 20 percent, and increase state revenue sharing with local governments eightfold. Then the state would pay for its mandates on local governments and we could reduce local property taxes substantially."