To Governor Andrew Cuomo, Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Carl Heastie:
As committed New Yorkers and employers of more than 1.5 million residents, through businesses both large and small, we want the state to thrive and hope to work with you towards that end. We feel compelled, however, to express alarm at plans to enact the largest spending and tax increases in the state’s history. We believe the current budget proposals will jeopardize New York’s recovery from the economic crisis inflicted by COVID-19.
The American Rescue Plan, for which most of us advocated, is providing $1.9 trillion in federal funding to eliminate the need for new state and local taxes this year. Once we are on a path toward restoring more than one million jobs and thousands of small businesses that New York has lost in the past twelve months, there may well be need to raise new revenues to fill the gaps in our education, health and social welfare systems.
At this moment, however, significant corporate and individual tax increases will make it far more difficult to restart the economic engine and reassemble the deep and diverse talent pool that makes New York the greatest city in the world. We are not alone in this view; among others, the nonpartisan Citizens Budget Commission has said these tax increases are “both unnecessary and economically risky,” thanks to federal aid and higher than expected tax receipts in 2020.
For better or worse, the pandemic has demonstrated that our workforce is more mobile than we ever imagined. Our businesses are committed to maintaining a strong presence in New York, but currently only about 10% of our colleagues are in the office and prospects for the future of a dense urban workplace are uncertain. Many members of our workforce have resettled their families in other locations, generally with far lower taxes than New York, and the proposed tax increases will make it harder to get them to return.
This is not about companies threatening to leave the state; this is simply about our people voting with their feet. Ultimately, these new taxes may trigger a major loss of economic activity and revenues as companies are pressured to relocate operations to where the talent wants to live and work. This is what happened to New York during the 1970s, when we lost half our Fortune 500 companies, and it took thirty years to recover.
The pandemic has also put a spotlight on the inequitable condition of Black and Latinx communities, low-wage workers and immigrant populations who were struggling to survive in our high-cost cities in the best of times but have been ravaged during the past year. We understand your need to respond to these urgent human needs and we will continue to support these efforts through expansion of partnerships for education and workforce development, hiring and small business assistance.
COVID-19 has impacted New York in ways that none of us fully understand yet. A healthy state economy requires a strong partnership between business and government. We urge you to hold off on major tax and spending changes until the pandemic is behind us and the path to recovery is better defined.
Penda Aiken, President, Penda Aiken, Inc.
Lee S. Ainslie, III, Managing Partner, Maverick Capital
Ellen Alemany, Chairman & CEO, CIT Group Inc.
Simon Allen, Chief Executive Officer, McGraw-Hill Education, Inc.
David Anderson, President & CEO, Highmark Western and Northeastern New York
Joseph Apicella, Managing Director, The MacQuesten Companies
Jeffrey H. Aronson, Managing Principal, Centerbridge Partners
Glenn R. August, Founder & CEO, Oak Hill Advisors L.P.
Robert Bakish, President & CEO, ViacomCBS Inc.
William Balter, President, Wilder Balter Partners, Inc.
Linda Baran, President & CEO, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce
Jeffrey H. Barker, President, Bank of America New York
Douglas Bean, Vice Chairman, Chief Brand Officer, Mower
Candace K. Beinecke, Senior Partner, Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
Charles R. Bendit, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Taconic Investment Partners LLC
Martin Berger, Managing Member, Saber Real Estate Advisors
Stephen Berger, Chairman, Odyssey Investment Partners, LLC
William H. Berkman, Co-Chairman & CEO, Radius Global Infrastructure, Inc.
Fran Biderman-Gross, CEO & Founder, Advantages
Lisa A. Bing, President, Bing Consulting Group, Inc.
Gary A. Binning, Managing Partner, Dominus Capital, L.P.
Jeff T. Blau, Chief Executive Officer, The Related Companies, L.P.
Kathy Bloomgarden, Chief Executive Officer, Ruder Finn, Inc.
John Borthwick, Founder & CEO, Betaworks
Albert Bourla, Chairman & CEO, Pfizer Inc.
Bruce Boyea, Chairman & CEO, Security Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York
Heather Briccetti, President & CEO, The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
Mike Bucci, Chairman of the Board, Putnam County Business Council
Kenneth J. Buettner, President, York Scaffolding
Martin S. Burger, Chief Executive Officer, Silverstein Properties, Inc.
Tonio Burgos, President, Tonio Burgos & Associates, Inc.
Louis R. Cappelli, Chairman & CEO, Cappelli Organization, LLC
Anthony Casalena, Founder & CEO, Squarespace, Inc.
John Catsimatidis, Chairman & CEO, Red Apple Group, Inc.
Timothy Cawley, President & CEO, Con Edison, Inc.
Peter Chavkin, Managing Member, Biddle Real Estate Ventures
Paul F. Ciminelli, President & CEO, Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation
Ofer Cohen, Founder & CEO, TerraCRG
Richard A.C. Coles, Founder & Managing Partner, Vanbarton Group LLC
Paul Comeau, Senior Partner & Former Chairman, Hodgson Russ LLP
Marc Cooper, Chief Executive Officer, PJ Solomon, L.P.
Cromwell Coulson, President & CEO, OTC Markets Group
Frank Curci, Chairman & CEO, Tops Markets, LLC
Anthony J. de Nicola, Chairman, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe
Donna DeCarolis, President, National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation
Christopher Del Vecchio, President and Chief Executive Officer, MVP Health Care
AnnaMaria DeSalva, Global Chairman & CEO, Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Annemarie DiCola, Chief Executive Officer, Trepp, LLC
John Dietrich, President & CEO, Atlas Air Worldwide
Jamie Dimon, Chairman & CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Susan G. Doban AIA, President, Doban Architecture
William R. Dougherty, Chairman, Executive Committee, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
Garry Douglas, President & CEO, North Country Chamber of Commerce
Robert Duffy, President & CEO, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce
Stacey Duncan, President & CEO, Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce
Douglas Durst, Chairman, Durst Organization Inc.
Scott A. Edelman, Chairman, Milbank LLP
Joel S. Ehrenkranz, Partner and Co-Founder, Ehrenkranz Partners L.P.
Douglas F. Eisenberg, Founder and CEO, A&E Real Estate, LLC
Thomas Emmerling, Managing Partner, Dopkins & Company, LLP
Ofo Ezeugwu, CEO & Founder, Whose Your Landlord
Sean Feeney, Co-Owner of Lilia & Misi and Co-Founder, Grovehouse
Ziel Feldman, Chairman & Founder, HFZ Capital Group
Laurence D. Fink, Chairman & CEO, BlackRock
Winston C. Fisher, Partner, Fisher Brothers
Alan H. Fishman, Founder, Willow Holdings, Inc.
William E. Ford, Chairman & CEO, General Atlantic LLC
Bethlam Forsa, Chief Executive Officer, Savvas Learning Company
Jane Fraser, Chief Executive Officer, Citi
Charles Freni, President & CEO, Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp.
Kent Frey, Chief Executive Officer, Frey Electric Construction Co., Inc.
Paul Fribourg, Chairman & CEO, Continental Grain Company
Adena Friedman, President & CEO, Nasdaq
Eric J. Friedman, Executive Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Dorothy Gallagher, President & CEO, Buffalo Niagara Partnership
Thomas P. Gibbons, Chief Executive Officer, BNY Mellon
MaryAnne Gilmartin, Founder & CEO, MAG Partners LP
Martin Ginsburg, Principal, Ginsburg Development Companies, LLC
Dan Glaser, President & CEO, Marsh McLennan
Dexter Goei, Chief Executive Officer, Altice USA
Timothy Gokey, Chief Executive Officer, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.
Marsha Gordon, President & CEO, The Business Council of Westchester
James P. Gorman, Chairman & CEO, Morgan Stanley
Barry M. Gosin, Chief Executive Officer, Newmark
Peter Grauer, Chairman, Bloomberg L.P.
Jonathan N. Grayer, Chairman & CEO, Weld North LLC
Thomas Grech, President & CEO, Queens Chamber of Commerce
Evan G. Greenberg, Chairman & CEO, Chubb
David J. Greenwald, Chairman, Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
Efraim Grinberg, Chairman & CEO, Movado Group, Inc.
Stewart KP Gross, Managing Director, Lightyear Capital
Philip Guarnieri, Chief Executive Officer, Empire State Bank
William Guglielmo, President, Rome Area Chamber of Commerce
Jeffrey R. Gural, Chairman, GFP Real Estate
Bob Haight, President & CEO, Cortland County Chamber of Commerce
Robin Hayes, Chief Executive Officer, JetBlue Airways Corporation
Dale Hemmerdinger, Chairman, Atco Properties & Management, Inc.
Leslie W. Himmel, Managing Partner, Himmel + Meringoff Properties LLC
Paul Hojnacki, President, MacLean Curtis, LLC
Marc Holliday, President & CEO, SL Green Realty Corp.
Brian T. Horey, President, Aurelian Management
Donna Imperato, Chief Executive Officer, BCW
Frederick J. Iseman, Chairman & CEO, CI Capital Partners LLC
Dev Ittycheria, President & CEO, MongoDB
Jeremy M. Jacobs, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Delaware North Companies, Inc.
Kenneth M. Jacobs, Chairman & CEO, Lazard
René F. Jones, Chairman & CEO, M&T Bank
Tim Jones, Chief Executive Officer, RMC Development Company
John Josephson, Chairman & CEO, Sesac
Thomas Judson, Chairman, The Pike Companies LLC
Harry Kargman, Founder & CEO, Kargo
Brad S. Karp, Chair, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Charles R. Kaye, Chief Executive Officer, Warburg Pincus LLC
Kamala Keeley, President and CEO, Chemung County Chamber of Commerce
Joseph Kelleher, President, Simone Metro Properties & Chairman, Bronx Chamber of Commerce
Anthony S. Kendall, Chairman & CEO, Mitchell & Titus, LLP
Richard A. Kennedy, President & CEO, Skanska USA Inc.
Michel A. Khalaf, President & CEO, MetLife, Inc.
Timothy D. King, Managing Partner, SVN | CPEX Real Estate
Brian Kingston, CEO of Real Estate, Brookfield Asset Management
Andrew Klaber, President, Bedford Ridge Capital
Jack Kopnisky, President & CEO, Sterling Bancorp
Henry R. Kravis, Co-Chairman & Co-CEO, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Jeremy M. Kroll, Co-Founder & CEO, K2 Integrity
Barbara Armand Kushner, President, Armand Corporation
Christopher Larsen, Chief Executive Officer, Halmar International, LLC
Kevin Law, President & CEO, Long Island Association
Rochelle B. Lazarus, Chairman Emeritus, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide
Kewsong Lee, Chief Executive Officer, The Carlyle Group
Richard S. LeFrak, Chairman & CEO, LeFrak
Joey Levin, Chief Executive Officer, IAC
Allan Levine, Chairman & CEO, Global Atlantic Financial Company
Jeffrey E. Levine, Chairman, Douglaston Development
Robert A. Levine, Chief Executive Officer, RAL Companies & Affiliates, LLC
Martin Lipton, Senior Partner, Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
Robert P. LoCascio, Founder & CEO, LivePerson, Inc.
George Loening, Chairman, CEO & Founder, Select Equity Group, Inc.
Howard W. Lutnick, Chairman & CEO, Cantor Fitzgerald L.P.
Roger Lynch, Chief Executive Officer, Condé Nast
Jennifer Maher, COO, Broker & Owner, J. Philip Real Estate
Mehdi Mahmud, CEO & President, First Eagle Investment Management, LLC
Anthony Malkin, Chairman, President & CEO, Empire State Realty Trust
Anthony E. Mann, President & CEO, E-J Electric Installation Co.
Joel S. Marcus, Executive Chairman & Founder, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc.
Giovanni Mata, Xochimilco Family Restaurant
Theodore Mathas, Chairman & CEO, New York Life Insurance Company
Sandeep Mathrani, Chief Executive Officer, WeWork
Denise Maxa, President, Corning Area Chamber of Commerce
Peter W. May, President & Founding Partner, Trian Partners
Charles R. McCall, Chief Executive Officer, Astoria Energy II LLC & Astoria Energy LLC
Andrew McMahon, CEO & President, The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
Avner Mendelson, President & CEO, Bank Leumi USA
Heidi Messer, Co-Founder & Chairperson, Collective[i]
Michael Miebach, Chief Executive Officer, Mastercard
Deborah Milone, President, Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce
Ken Moelis, Chairman and CEO, Moelis & Company
Michael Montante, Chief Executive Officer, Uniland Development Company
Daniel Moore, President & CEO, Rockefeller Group International, Inc.
Tyler Morse, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Partner, MCR Development LLC
Eric Mower, Chairman & CEO, Mower
Deanna M. Mulligan, Chief Executive Officer, Purposeful
Alan J. Murray, President & CEO, Empire BlueCross BlueShield
Daniel Nardello, Chief Executive Officer, Nardello & Co. LLC
David J. Nasca, Chief Executive Officer, Evans Bancorp, Inc. and Evans Bank, N.A.
Liz Neumark, Chair & Founder, Great Performances
Stephen Obermayer, Chief Financial Officer, BBL Companies
Benjamin Obletz, President & CEO, First Amherst Development Group LLC
Glenn Pacchiana, President & CEO, Thalle Industries
Scott Pallotta, Chief Executive Officer, Zehnder-Rittling
Louis Panzica, President & CEO, Power Drives, Inc.
John Paulson, President, Paulson & Co., Inc.
Randy Peers, President & CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce
Debbie Perelman, President & CEO, Revlon, Inc.
Douglas L. Peterson, President & CEO, S&P Global
Charles E. Phillips, Jr., Chairman, Infor
Michael Phillips, President, Jamestown Properties LLC
Deirdre Quinn, Co-Founder & CEO, Lafayette 148 New York
Corey Rabin, Managing Member, Chauncey White Plains, LLC
Steven L. Rattner, Chairman & CEO, Willett Advisors LLC
Scott H. Rechler, Chairman & CEO, RXR Realty LLC
Christiana Riley, Chief Executive Officer, Deutsche Bank Americas
Michael Roberts, President & CEO, HSBC Bank USA
James D. Robinson, Co-Founder & General Partner, RRE Ventures
Christopher Ross, Principal, Lawley Insurance, Inc.
Evan Roth, Co-Chief Executive Officer, BBR Partners, LLC
Michael I. Roth, Executive Chairman, Interpublic Group
Steven Roth, Chairman & CEO, Vornado Realty Trust
Steven Rubenstein, President, Rubenstein Communications, Inc.
Mitchell E. Rudin, Chairman & CEO, Savills Inc.
William C. Rudin, Co-Chairman & CEO, Rudin Management Company, Inc.
Kevin P. Ryan, Founder & CEO, AlleyCorp
Faiza Saeed, Presiding Partner, Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP
Joseph Saffire, Chief Executive Officer, Life Storage
Scott Salmirs, President & CEO, ABM Industries Inc.
Al Samuels, President & CEO, Rockland Business Association
Thomas J. Santucci, Founder & President, Gateway Investments, LLC
John Scannell, CEO & Chairman of the Board, Moog Inc.
Mark Schienberg, President, Greater New York Auto Dealers Association
Michael Schmidtberger, Partner & Chair of the Executive Committee, Sidley Austin LLP
Alan D. Schnitzer, Chairman & CEO, The Travelers Companies, Inc.
Alan D. Schwartz, Executive Chairman, Guggenheim Partners, LLC
Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO & Co-Founder, Blackstone
Frank J. Sciame, Chairman & CEO, Sciame Construction, LLC
Ari M. Shalam, Managing Director, RWN Real Estate Partners LLC
Kathleen Shanahan, Chief Executive Officer, Turtle & Hughes, Inc.
Tarek Sherif, Co-Founder & CEO, Medidata Solutions, Inc.
Stanley S. Shuman, Managing Member, 3S Advisors LLC
Jonathan Silvan, Chief Executive Officer, Global Strategy Group, LLC
Robert Simpson, President & CEO, CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity
Michael C. Slocum, President, Commercial Banking, Capital One Bank
David M. Solomon, Chairman & CEO, Goldman Sachs
Jeffrey M. Solomon, Chair & CEO, Cowen
John Somers, President & CEO, Harmac Medical Products, Inc.
Lisa Sorin, President, The Bronx Chamber of Commerce
Anthony Spada, Jr., President & CEO, AAA Western and Central New York
Paul Speranza, Chief Executive Officer, Paul Speranza Advisors
Rob Speyer, President & CEO, Tishman Speyer
Stephen J. Squeri, Chairman & CEO, American Express Company
Robert K. Steel, Chairman, Perella Weinberg Partners
Jonathan Stein, Managing Member, PCD Development, LLC
Bill Stone, Chairman & CEO, SS&C Technologies, Inc.
Alan Suna, Chairman, Silvercup Studios
Steven R. Swartz, President & CEO, Hearst
Michael J. Sweeney, Eastern U.S. President, HNTB Corporation
Teiji Teramoto, Chairman & CEO, Mizuho Americas
Owen D. Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, Boston Properties
Robert J. Thomson, Chief Executive, News Corporation
James S. Tisch, President & CEO, Loews Corporation
Ward Todd, President & CEO, Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce
Robert Vecchio, Chief Executive Officer, LPI, Inc.
Ellis Verdi, President, DeVito/Verdi
Paul Vukelic, President & CEO, Try-It Distributing Co., Inc.
George H. Walker, Chairman & CEO, Neuberger Berman Group LLC
Jessica Walker, President & CEO, Manhattan Chamber of Commerce
Edward Walsh, Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Walsh Duffield Cos., Inc.
Henry Wan, Chief Executive Officer, Amna Construction Corp.
Gregg Wasser, Partner, G & S Investors
Philip Waterman III, Managing Partner, WatermanCLARK, LLC
Charles Weinstein, Chief Executive Officer, EisnerAmper LLP
Steven J. Weiss, Managing Partner, Cannon Heyman & Weiss, LLP
Tom Wiley, Publisher and President, The Buffalo News
John Willinge, Chairman, Alverstoke Group
David Winter, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Standard Industries Inc.
Robert Wolf, Chief Executive Officer, 32 Advisors LLC
Kathryn S. Wylde, President & CEO, Partnership for New York City
Rudolph Wynter, President-Elect, NY, National Grid
Meme Yanetsko, Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce
Peter Zaffino, President & CEO, American International Group, Inc.
Tim Zagat, Co-Founder, Zagat Survey
Strauss Zelnick, Partner, ZMC
James Zelter, Co-President, Apollo Global Management, Inc.
Stephen Zenger, President & CEO, Zenger Group Inc