The Pre-K Tax Plan
Dec 31, 2013 | 12670 views | 0 0 comments | 609 609 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The tax hike proposal that was supposed to sink mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s campaign is now front and center as he prepares for his inaugural address.

For the new mayor, a single issue does not define an administration. The proposal would increase taxes on those earning north of $500,000 annually. That class of earners pays 3.87 percent to the city in taxes annually, and the figure would jump to 4.41 percent if the mayor gets what he wants.

The initial public reaction was that this was just another progressive attempt to redistribute income, but to some extent so are most government programs. What de Blasio has going for him in the language of a proposal like that is the notion that all children in the city would be offered a pre-kindergarten education.

If he had said that “more” children would be covered, the increase would look more like he was bilking the wealthy. But by saying that all children would be covered, he can claim to have addressed a problem, even if critics may disagree with the means.

If another $1,000 from the wealthiest New Yorkers is going to cover every single child in this area of education, he can pull a lot of support from the public.

The mayor is going to get some push-back on this plan, because all tax hikes should come with some degree of skepticism. In the end, however, de Blasio will most likely get this increase and he will apply the added revenue to universal pre-K education.

That brings us to the larger question of whether this is worth it. If you’re asking people to pay for a government program, it better be efficient. The plan has to bring results.

City Hall should be open to auditing this program to see how well young children react to pre-K. In the end, it may be worth it, but only if the results are there.

De Blasio took a bold step in pushing for this, but he did it the right way: early in his campaign. He put the idea out there right away, and allowed for criticism to burn out.

Had he introduced that idea in August, he may have gotten anchored behind some of the other Democrats in the primary. The mayor played his hand well, and now we will see how the plan plays out in government.

There Goes The Neighborhood

The development of the Queens Savoy Hotel on 82nd Avenue and Queens Boulevard does not fit the neighborhood over which it is currently towering.

There were talks for years that Pasta Lovers restaurant and the real estate firm that it is working with might not build such a monstrosity in a residential area, but alas, it is slated to open for business in the spring.

The property values of those of us in that middle-class section of Queens are now completely compromised. Part of the building will be residences and the other part will be a hotel...for those jet setters who look to vacation on the white sand beaches of Kew Gardens.

This project is nothing short of economic bullying to a community that will only suffer because of it.

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