By Maria Rocha-Buschel
City University of New York students, education advocates and local elected officials rallied on the Baruch Plaza at Lexington Avenue and East 25th Street last Thursday, protesting tuition hikes for CUNY students.
Assemblymember Harvey Epstein argued at the rally that more money should be allocated to the city and state university systems, and also said that bills he has introduced would help provide that funding.
One piece of legislation from Epstein, which is co-sponsored by Assemblymember Dick Gottfried, would impose a 2% sales tax on various luxury items, including vehicles, jewelry and clothing over a certain amount, and the tax would be distributed equally to SUNY and CUNY. Another bill would increase taxes on beer and would direct the revenue generated from the tax to SUNY and CUNY, with Epstein noting that New York currently has one of the lowest beer taxes in the country. The bill would increase the tax to 30 cents per gallon, up from 14.