Green Party mayoral candidate calls for state revenue sharing to help troubled cities

Green Party Candidate Dr. Kevin Bott

Green Party mayoral candidate Dr. Kevin Bott took to the steps of city hall today to present his partiesâ?? plan to get out of a fiscal crisis that he says has Syracuse facing â??a Detroit-style takeover of the city and a Philly-style takeover of the school district in the next two to three years.â??

Bott and the Green Party are recommending a solution that was once proposed by former Syracuse Mayor Lee Alexander in 1969. The proposed solution is revenue sharing, which would see state taxes shared among economically challenged areas, like Syracuse.

Bott says the cause of the issues that brought up revenue sharing in the late 60â??s and early 70â??s are the same issues plaguing the city today: the loss of property tax revenues to tax-exempt entities like universities, hospitals and government agencies.

Bott argues that those currently in power in the state are happy to keep cutting schools, services and city workers to bridge the fiscal gap. Along with revenue sharing, Bott recommends raising taxes on the wealthy in the area, who he says had â??30 percent (of the state wealth) in 2012.â??

Bott says that the increases in revenue sharing and school aid could be funded by increases in progressive taxation, which he says can be accomplished by retaining part of the stock transfer tax, which used to take in about $15 billion a year.