Breakfast at Tiffany’s? What Tax Cuts for the Wealthy Really Mean for Essential Services

This morning, the Coalition for the Homeless joined advocates and service providers at an “Austerity Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” held outside the iconic Tiffany and Co. store on Fifth Avenue. The ‘Austerity Breakfast’ was organized to push for the renewal of the millionaire’s tax, which is set to expire at the end of this year, and also to thank wealthy New Yorkers who are willing to give up tax breaks to pay for essential services for New Yorkers in need.

On December 31, the New York State personal income tax surcharge on millionaires is set to expire, giving wealthy New Yorkers a $5 billion tax break, at the expense of emergency food programs, homelessness prevention, senior services, education, and a host of other essential services.


At the ‘Austerity Breakfast,’ advocates put into concrete terms the amount of services that would be lost with the end of the millionaire’s tax. A mock Holly Golightly presented the Coalition for the Homeless with a $7,000 watch worth enough to provide 3,500 emergency meals to homeless men and women sleeping on the streets.

“With record numbers of homeless children and families, cutbacks to vital services, and emergency food programs unable to meet the rising need, now is obviously not the time to give a tax break to the wealthiest New Yorkers. We’re thankful that some of New York’s well-to-do recognize that eliminating the millionaires tax is wrong for vulnerable kids and families and wrong for New York,” said Coaliton for the Homeless Policy Analyst, Giselle Routhier.

And while the renewal of the millionaire’s tax will certainly keep programs for needy New Yorkers running, we’re sure New York’s millionaires and billionaires will still be shopping at Tiffany’s…