Updated 03/06/2009 06:17 AM
Fair budget rally
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Teachers, nurses and others packed Second Olivet Baptist Church Thursday to show their support for fair share tax reform.
With less than a month before the state's budget is due, community members spoke out against Governor David Paterson's budget proposal, saying it threatens to cripple the state's education and health care systems.
"Hospitals are hurting all over the country. The Last thing they need is less money.We really can't afford any more cuts to hospitals," said Pat Mahony with Crouse Hospital.
"In my agency we're going to have to close our program that works with young people to keep them in school and to keep learning," said Center for Community Alternatives Executive Director Marsha Weissman.
People at the rally say if it were up to them, they'd fix the state's deficit by increasing the state's income tax on its wealthiest residents.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
"It's ridiculous that people who make 40 thousand dollars and people who make 400 thousand dollars pay the same tax rate. We pay the same tax rate as Donald Trump? Doesn't seem very fair to me," said organizer Tanika Jones-Cole.
"You can't get blood from a stone, and so we need a tax structure that is going to tax the very wealthiest people," said Weissman.
Governor Paterson's budget proposal calls for a three percent cut in school aid and reduced medicaid funding.
Rally participants feel slashing programs instead of increasing taxes will directly impact the life of the middle class.
"These programs and these services are essential to success, to people's livelihoods. I just really feel like it's very criminal to cut from people who can't afford any other option," said Jones.
State lawmakers are back in session on Monday as they try to find a solution to the state's financial woes.