News Press

250 of NY’s Large Employers and Small Business Leaders Challenge Need for State Tax Increases

March 23, 2021


Katy Feinberg
[email protected]

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 PanzicaPresident & 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