NYC mayor argues for an equal financial playing field
February 10th, 2014
03:06 PM ET
6 months ago

NYC mayor argues for an equal financial playing field

New York (CNN) – New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio – in his first "State of the City" address – vowed Monday to ask New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo for the authority to raise the minimum wage in all five boroughs and raise taxes on the wealthy.

New York City's 109th mayor also said he would expand affordable housing to thousands of lower income families, expand school programs and make municipal ID cards available to thousands of undocumented immigrants.

De Blasio made it clear throughout last year's mayoral campaign and in his six weeks in office that he wants more income equality for every New Yorker. In order to do this, he plans on asking Albany next week "to give New York City the power to raise the minimum wage in all five boroughs. In the process, we will send a powerful signal to the people of New York – that we honor work…and that we are committed to making work pay."

New York's first Democratic mayor in two decades reminded everyone that even though Wall Street has rebounded and hovers near historic highs 46% of New York City residents still "live at or near the poverty line. Our middle class isn't just squeezed; it's at risk of disappearing altogether. That disparity…that inequality crisis…is the greatest risk to our New York promise."

De Blasio said he would unveil a plan on May 1st to "preserve or construct nearly 200,000 units of affordable housing – enough to house between 400,000 and 500,000 New Yorkers."

The plan will call on developers to build homes for not only the wealthy, but for the middle income families trying to make a living in the most expensive city in America.

One of the ways de Blasio hopes to help lower income families get access to better paying jobs is by making better schooling available to New York City's youths. One of these programs would be making Pre-K programs universally available.

His plan has been met with controversy by many because it's unclear where the money would come from to fund it. The Mayor made his plan clearer Monday by saying he would find the funding by asking Cuomo to give him permission to raise taxes on "those who make more than a half-million dollars a year to pay a little more in taxes. For those making between $500,000 and a million dollars a year, that means an average of about 970 bucks."

Cuomo previously announced it was not necessary to raise taxes to fund the Mayor's Pre-K program and said he would find the money in the State Budget.

But de Blasio said he's only asking Cuomo to allow him to raise the taxes of New York City's wealthiest residents who make $500,000 or more. He also said "If there are extra resources in the state budget, we must remember that the State Court of Appeals ruled – in the landmark Campaign for Fiscal Equity decision several years ago - that the children of this city deserve billions more in educational resources, and now is the time to provide it."

De Blasio also unveiled his plan to identify the nearly half-million undocumented New Yorkers by "issuing municipal ID cards available to all New Yorkers this year - so that no daughter or son of our city goes without bank accounts, leases, library cards…simply because they lack identification."

De Blasio says the ID cards will make it possible for immigrants to access essential needs, like creating a bank account or qualifying for an apartment lease.


Filed under: Andrew Cuomo • Bill de Blasio • New York
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Sorry, Mr. Mayor. Raising the minimum wage is treating the sympton not the systematic problem. It's a problem that's bigger than your mayor's office and the governor's office combined. It's a national problem, one that Congress needs to fix.

    February 10, 2014 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  2. Fair is Fair

    It's a nutjob like this that makes me thrilled to live outside of NYC. Pony up the $$$$$, suckers!

    February 10, 2014 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  3. robert

    how much is this blazio worth?

    February 10, 2014 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    Our progressive mayor is listening to the will of the people. The citizens of the most powerful city on Earth shouldn't be living on a substandard wage. There are plenty of people in New York City who make well over 500k.

    February 10, 2014 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  5. Jungg

    Illegal Immigrants. Why can't you just call them what they are? Please stop giving them my tax dollars.

    February 10, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. Tommy G

    All you clowns that elected this buffoon will now get what you deserve. Just wait until the mass migration OUT of NYC starts and the city goes bankrupt AGAIN.

    Liberal, lefitsts fools just never, ever learn....

    February 10, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    Oh noes! This might improve the lives of those whose underserving and worthless nature is evidenced by their poverty!!!! Someone quick, file a lawsuit, organize a demonstration, go on Faux and CNN and tell everyone that the wealthy are being persecuted and victimized!!!! Atrocity....ATROCITY!!!!!!

    February 10, 2014 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  8. it must be said

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?
    There are plenty of people in New York City who make well over 500k.
    --

    And if this leftist looney tune continues his progressive jihad against one group in order to give to another group, he will soon discover people are mobile, as is their wealth and salary. Detroit will soon have company.

    February 10, 2014 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. b

    "There are plenty of people in New York City who make well over 500k" ---------Not for long.

    February 10, 2014 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. just asking

    NYC mayor argues for an equal financial playing field
    -–

    is everybody going to work the same amount? or will many be slackers and takers?
    is everybody going to graduate high school and go to college for 8 years? or will many drop out?
    is everybody going save and sacrifice? or will many just spend it all and not save a penny?
    is everybody going to help pay for government? or will almost half be given a free ride while others pay through the nose?

    equal??? hardly!

    February 10, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?

    it must be said
    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Where's Our $24 Billion?
    There are plenty of people in New York City who make well over 500k.
    -

    And if this leftist looney tune continues his progressive jihad against one group in order to give to another group, he will soon discover people are mobile, as is their wealth and salary. Detroit will soon have company.
    ------------------------------------------–
    When you speak out against corporate welfare, then you have a foot to stand on with me with your wealth redistribution argument. Remember those unpaid Bush tax cuts which were supposed to create jobs? Oh how soon we forget.

    February 10, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. The REAL Truth...

    @tom l – I find it ironic that the very people on here that talk about repubs pushing their beliefs on others through the form of govt don't recognize that their stance is the exact same. You are pushing your beliefs on them. I know, I know. In your mind it's for the greater good. However, YOU are the imposer. YOU are the one forcing your beliefs on them. This isn't something new, by the way. They didn't all of the sudden find religion. They're closed on Sundays. The company has been known for its religious beliefs since its inception.
    -------------------------------
    While I fully get your point and.. to the degree that I agree with (never thought I'd say that), there is ONE major difference. That is separation of Church and State being violated. Legislating employer mandates onto a Corporation – regardless of the CEO's RELIGIOUS beliefs – is not any violation of religious beliefs. On that premise, I can set up and S Corp, then file suit with the SCOTUS to state that my religious beliefs violate the Federal laws on paying taxes, or employee salaries!!
    Silly analogy.. maybe.. but is no less valid a claim than Hobby Lobby's. If they can be exempted from this law due to religious beliefs (corporations are not people), why should my claim not be entertained.

    February 10, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |