Assemblymember Steck Introduces Legislation to Raise Revenue for Infrastructure, Help Combat Income Inequality

February 5, 2018

Assemblymember Phil Steck (D-Colonie) announced that he introduced legislation (A.9666) to reinstate the stock transfer tax of one quarter of one percent (0.25%). The bill would raise approximately $14 billion in yearly revenue for New York State, which would be dedicated to infrastructure projects throughout the state.

We had the stock transfer tax from 1905, when it was adopted as part of the Republican Party platform, to 1981. Eliminating the tax was a serious mistake. Its too small to have a negative effect on the stock market. On the other hand, it assures that the business of trading will not just serve its own interests but will create wealth that is actually ploughed back into things that are useful for the public at large. We need to create jobs, help our construction industry move forward, and attract business to our state with top quality infrastructure.

The bill would mostly impact wealthy day traders who make money in speculative trading, not the typical New Yorker who puts money in long-term stocks. For example, a person who makes a long term-investment of $20,000 would pay a tax of $50, less than typical brokerage fees or asset management fees. Many countries have instituted a financial transaction tax without negative impacts on their economies , Steck noted. The bill is also important in achieving parity with other states. New York is a net exporter of tax revenue. Since most people who trade stock in New York are either from foreign countries or from other states, New York would recapture revenue that we are losing as a result of tax havens or payments by New Yorkers of excise taxes imposed by other states.