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Bloomberg Rejects Reinstatement Of NY Stock Transfer Tax

by Leroy Baker, Tax-News.com, New York

18 April 2003


New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has poured cold water on a proposal to reintroduce a city stock tax that could potentially raise an additional $2.65 billion per year, according to reports.

Bloomberg told reporters that the stock-transfer tax was a "job-killing tax" during a press conference this week, expressing fears that the reinstatement of the tax, which was repealed in 1981, would drive traders to other stock exchanges to clear their trades.

However, Bloomberg's critics, such as the Fiscal Policy Institute, argued that financial centres such as London, Paris and Tokyo already levy similar taxes at a much higher rate than would be imposed in New York, and countered that stock-transfer taxes would be very low down the list of a trader's concerns.

The Mayor has also dismissed the idea of raising sales taxes, describing such a measure as 'regressive' and 'very easy to avoid'. Instead, Bloomberg has chosen to reduce this year's $3.8 billion deficit by introducing massive cuts in spending.

Earlier in the week, Bloomberg unveiled two separate budgets, which have been described by observers as the 'worst case scenario', and 'even worse case scenario' plans. The cuts in spending will range from $600 million to $1 billion, and will be achieved by the shedding of up to 10,000 jobs in the emergency services and other publicly funded departments.

A recent 18% hike in city property taxes has seen Bloomberg's popularity rating plunge to record lows for any Mayor, hitting 31% at the end of last year.


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