The New York State United Teachers is launching a $300,000 ad campaign to call for a tax increase on wealthy people in order to close a state budget gap made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The campaign called "Fund our Future" is set to include digital ads, billboards, and bus ads in upstate and downstate areas. 

“Rebuilding New York is not a question of resources — it’s a question of will,” NYSUT President Andy Pallotta said. “It’s long past time that the state asked the wealthiest New Yorkers to pay their fair share toward public services, not just to help address the short-term budget problems we face, but to ensure we’re generating the revenues public schools, colleges and hospitals need for long-term success. 'Fund our future' isn’t a slogan. It’s a moral imperative now more than ever.”

Examples of the ad can be found here. The ad campaign from the umbrella labor group adds some heft to the ongoing tax hike talk in Albany. 

Efforts to increase taxes this year on upper income earners in New York comes as the state is facing significant financial strain due to the pandemic and the subsequent economic recession. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed increasing tax rates on those who earn $5 million and above in a spending plan that assumes Congress would approve $3 billion in aid for the coming fiscal year by March. Without more aid, the budget would have to reduce spending and borrowing, as well. 

But some Democrats in the Legislature have called for tax hikes on rich people regardless of the size of the economic stimulus aid Congress approves for states, pointing to the divergent fortunes of the rich and poor during the pandemic.