Two New York state senators proposed legislation that would tax high earners in the state slightly more for a limited time in order to avoid major education funding cuts.
The SHARE Act, or the Shared Help Assessment to Rebuild Education Act, would increase the income tax rate for earners of more than $5 million from 8.82 percent to 10.90 percent for 2 years.
The larger portion, 85 percent of the revenue generated from this tax, would go to public schools and 15 percent would be used to help fund SUNY and CUNY schools.
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“We are in a period of unprecedented fiscal crisis," Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Shelley Mayer said. "And we must ensure that our public schools —the great equalizer of our democracy — are funded adequately. It is a time for shared sacrifice. We cannot allow this terrible virus to threaten the futures of hundreds of thousands of students throughout New York State."
Governor Andrew Cuomo has been warning of massive budget cuts across the board, with schools, local governments and hospitals expected to see 20 percent funding cuts unless there is federal aid. On Tuesday, the governor said the state needs at least $61 billion in the next federal stimulus bill before cuts are announced as soon as next week.
“Education, from pre-K to college, has been underfunded for many years," Senate Higher Education Committee Chairwoman Toby Stavisky said. "As a result of the pandemic, education will be facing unprecedented challenges. This legislation will mitigate its fiscal effect.”