Campaign Video: "Born & Raised” Released September 12, 2017
STATEMENT ON PASSAGE OF HOUSE TAX REFORM BILL
KEENE, NY – North Country Congressional candidate Katie Wilson today released the following statement in response to the House of Representatives’ passage of a bill eliminating critical tax deductions for North Country residents:
“The bill passed today by the House of Representatives is nothing short of a direct assault on the American middle class, and the impacts of this ill-conceived legislation will be devastating for hardworking families around the country, and especially those right here in the North Country.
“By eliminating state and local tax deductions almost entirely, the House is leaving residents of higher-taxed states like New York to face dramatically higher tax bills each year, in exchange for a new tax code that overwhelmingly favors the richest Americans while offering little to no relief for those who need it most. One after another, governmental and independent analyses of the House tax plan have found it would disproportionately reward the highest earners with tax breaks, while making it increasingly difficult for hardworking New Yorkers to make ends meet.
“The House bill eliminates tax deductions for medical expenses, punishing sick Americans for expenses they incur simply fighting to stay healthy. The bill eliminates deductions for college loan interest, discouraging our future generations of workers from pursuing higher education and burdening young professionals looking to purchase homes and start families. In New York, the elimination of state and local tax deductions would raise 3.3 million New Yorkers’ federal tax burden by $17.5 billion. Here in the North Country, the elimination of the SALT deduction – the single most-claimed deduction in the entire tax code – more than 26,000 tax filers would be directly impacted, with an average increased tax burden of $2,540.
“This is exactly the kind of lawmaking that has made Americans so acutely aware of the disconnect between the issues they live and breathe every day, and the Washington insiders who legislate solely to benefit their moneyed special interests. We need real reform that rewards hard work and gives tax relief to those who most desperately need it. This bill instead favors corporations over people and promises to leave the middle-class in its ongoing struggle to reach economic security and stability.”
KATIE WILSON CALLS FOR STB TO CONSIDER REVOKING COMMON CARRIER STATUS OF “RAILROAD TROLL” FOLLOWING REVELATION THAT IOWA PACIFIC USES “EXTORTION” TACTICS IN OTHER STATES
After Iowa Pacific Tells New Yorkers it Will Remove Oil Tankers from ADK Park Only If Taxpayers Foot the Bill, Times Union Calls it “Environmental Extortion”
Company Has Left Trail of Unpaid Bills & Angry Communities Across the Country
ALBANY, NY—New York congressional candidate Katie Wilson today called for the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) to consider revoking Iowa Pacific Holding’s “Common Carrier” status and reiterated her demand for the federal agency to investigate the company after revealing their “extortion” tactics have been employed in multiple states, while the company has failed to pay their own bills in a number of communities across the country. Just as they now are doing in New York, Iowa Pacific has demanded payment from localities in Illinois and California in exchange for moving oil tanker cars they have stored on rail lines owned by the company – and with them, potential danger to their surrounding communities and the environment. Wilson is demanding the company stop their plan to use the 22-mile Tahawus stretch of track in the Adirondack Park to store contaminated oil tanker rail cars.
“This is a company that fails to pay its own bills while also demanding communities pay for the privilege of not storing their junk. The North Country is different, and we will not tolerate this kind of corporate extortion,” said Katie Wilson, small business owner and candidate for New York’s 21st congressional district. “The residents, businesses and elected officials in Warren and Essex counties are in complete agreement that this must be stopped. As a small business owner myself and a resident of the North Country, I am calling for the federal government to launch an immediate investigation, and for Representative Elise Stefanik to finally stand up for her constituents and communities.”
In Chicago, Iowa Pacific started storing tanker cars just feet away from open businesses and in the middle of streets in an area undergoing tremendous revitalization, saying they would stop parking rail cars only if real estate developers wired $275,000 within 24 hours. One developer told the Chicago Tribune, “These guys are railroad trolls. They want to get paid to move out of the way.” The Illinois-based developer Sterling Bay, in a filing with federal officials, wrote that the company “attempt[s] to gain leverage over the community by parking rail tank cars around downtown businesses and then demanding payoffs to move them.”
Separately, in California last year, Iowa Pacific attempted to increase the number of tanker cars stored along the coast from 100 to 900. (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
And while Iowa Pacific is quick to demand that taxpayers and local businesses pay them, the company itself is notorious for not paying up:
- A Colorado company is suing Iowa Pacific for $3 million in unpaid royalties and court costs. (Trains)
- In Texas, an Iowa Pacific-owned company owes more than $250,000 in unpaid sales taxes from 2016-2017. (Trains)
- Iowa Pacific delayed payments of at least $36,000 to Santa Cruz for rail car storage and royalties for its Polar Express train. (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
- In Oklahoma, local construction crews, electrical workers, and oil providers are trying to collect eight months of unpaid invoices totaling upwards of $15,000 after Iowa Pacific cancelled their Polar Express train. (News Press)
- Two restaurants in Texas were only paid for half of the $100,000 worth of food and services provided on Iowa Pacific’s Polar Express. (KLTV)
- State of Indiana cancelled its contract with Iowa Pacific earlier this year due to trains arriving hours late, or not at all, despite hundreds of thousands of dollars in subsidies for service upgrades. (Gannett)
Last week, Wilson called on the federal government to intervene, highlighting their clear jurisdiction over Iowa Pacific’s use of the rail. The federal STB granted Iowa Pacific “common carrier” status in 2012, cementing their authority to investigate the situation now and to return control of the tracks in question to the local government.
While the oil tanker issue has been growing for months, Rep. Stefanik issued her first public statements just last week – only after being pressed to respond by Wilson – but still declined to use the power of her office to call for action from the STB. Stefanik admitted that she still does not know how the problem can be addressed by state or federal agencies, and says her office is only now "opening a case" with the federal Department of Transportation.
KATIE WILSON CALLS FOR AN IMMEDIATE INVESTIGATION BY THE FEDERAL SURFACE TRANSPORTATION BOARD TO STOP THE STORAGE OF RAIL CARS IN THE ADIRONDACK PARK
Wilson Calls for Rep. Elise Stefanik to Break Her Silence & Push for Immediate Federal Action
As Rail Cars Continue to Line Up Along the Tahawus Line in the Adirondack Park, Federal Action Could Return Tracks to Local Control
KEENE, NY – North Country Congressional candidate Katie Wilson today called for an immediate investigation by the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) in order to help return 22 miles of railroad tracks in Warren and Essex Counties to local control, enabling towns and villages to stop the storage of thousands of rail cars inside the Adirondack Park. Wilson also called for Congresswoman Elise Stefanik to break her silence and finally take action to protect her constituents.
“The Adirondack Park is not a junkyard, and the residents of the North Country deserve a voice in determining how our land is treated and protected,” said Katie Wilson, local business owner and candidate for New York’s 21st district. “We know Iowa Pacific intends to store 22 miles of rusting, decaying, vandalized and toxic rail cars inside the park, sitting on the banks of our rivers and in our protected wilderness. This is not a partisan issue. All across Warren and Essex counties, and beyond, community officials and residents have come together in opposition to this misuse and abuse of our environment and region.”
The dumping of hundreds of unused oil train cars in the middle of the Adirondack wilderness – along the beautiful Hudson and Boreas Rivers – represents a blight on the North Country, a danger to our communities, a harm to local small businesses, and a betrayal by the government officials who never should have let this happen in the first place. Support for taking action to stop the storage of these railcars has broad bipartisan support, in addition to advocates from business, conservationist and environmental advocacy alike.
The STB recently cemented their legal authority and federal jurisdiction over the Tahawus rail line – and Iowa Pacific Holdings, the company responsible for parking thousands of dangerous disused rail cars on the 22-mile stretch of track – when it granted the company “common carrier” status in 2012. The ruling allowed Iowa Pacific to rebuild and use outdated segments of rail lines to transport WWII-era materials for refinement in New York. Now, the company intends to use this federally-granted authority to turn the Adirondack Park into a parking lot for contaminated and unsafe tanker cars that pose a health risk to both the environment and surrounding communities.
STATEMENT ON REPUBLICAN PLAN TO ELIMINATE PROPERTY TAX DEDUCTIONS
KEENE, NY – North Country Congressional candidate Katie Wilson today released the following statement in response to the GOP’s proposal to eliminate state and local property tax deductions as part of their tax reform platform:
“The tax plan released today by President Trump and the GOP leadership is more proof that Republicans in Washington have no interest in helping everyday Americans and are entirely concerned with how to benefit the richest fraction of the country.
“Governor Cuomo estimates this tax plan will cost 3.3 million New York taxpayers a combined $17.5 billion in much-needed tax relief. On average, the plan would cost New Yorkers $5,300 in additional federal income tax. This is the single most commonly-used portion of the tax code, and it provides a critical reprieve to millions of families who would otherwise struggle to make ends meet.
“Predictably, and even as members of her own Republican congressional delegation decry this ridiculous and untenable proposal, Rep. Elise Stefanik is singing its praises to the New Yorkers who stand to be hit the hardest by it. No matter the cost to her constituents, Rep. Stefanik is working to please the party bosses, including President Trump and her mentor, Rep. Paul Ryan.
“While a couple thousand dollars here or there may not affect Elise Stefanik, I’m raising two children and running a small business on a working class paycheck, like most North Country residents. As our current representative advocates for policies that will hit us right in our pockets, it’s another reminder that the North Country both need and deserve a representative who will stand up for their best interests.”
STEFANIK CHALLENGERS MEET, SPEAK IN QUEENSBURY
"Wilson highlighted her lifelong ties to the district, having run several local businesses. She singled out increased broadband in the region as a top priority. She also said she’d support microlending and a graduated tax to help area small businesses while also transitioning the burden of health care from them.
As for a single-payer system, Wilson said she’d like to get there incrementally.
“People don’t like big change all at once,” she said.
She brought up health education in schools and the expansion of farm-to-school programs to other places such as hospitals and prisons as ways to improve the lives of locals."
To read the full article, click here.
NORTH COUNTRY SMALL BUSINESS OWNER ENTERS RACE FOR NY-21
Democrats are lining up to run for Congress this year, especially here in New York, which features a lot swing districts. That includes the 21st district in the North Country, which flipped from blue to red in 2014 when Congressman Bill Owens retired and Elise Stefanik won a three-way race to replace him. Now, a local business owner is preparing to take on Congresswoman Stefanik. Democratic candidate Katie Wilson joins us to talk about her campaign.
To watch, click here.
Keene lifer believes she’s the one to take on Stefanik
KEENE — As Katie Wilson followed her dog Derby and her neighbor’s dog Lucy up a mossy cascade of a path in this tiny mountain town she’s always called home, the 33-year-old small business owner talked about why she wants to represent the North Country in U.S. Congress.
The single mother of two — Cooper, 9, and Zinnia, 7 — bounded up a brook high above Hulls Falls, and in between tired breaths, she expressed her concerns with Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro. Wilson also shared her own stances on issues as this private trail gave way to a clearing that looks down onto the field where an iconic crumbling red barn once sat along state Route 73.
“I think there is a tenacity,” she continued. “The people who have lived here through a few North Country winters, they understand the somewhat extreme nature and sense of community it takes to thrive here, and Elise doesn’t. This isn’t an attack on her personality; this is just straight fact: She hasn’t been through that.
To read the full article, click here.
Democrat Katie Wilson Discusses NY 21 Congressional Race
A number of Democrats are lining up to challenge northern New York’s second-term Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik. One of the latest to enter the race for the 21st district seat is businesswoman Katie Wilson from the Adirondack village of Keene. She says her campaign is about the future of the people and children across the district.
“This isn’t about me. This is about the future of my children that I think about every single day. And my aging father who is at risk of losing his home and means of survival here in the North Country. And I just realized that there are so many people across the North Country facing these same issues. These are real lives on the line here and I felt as though it was my duty as a citizen of the North Country and as a citizen of the country to do whatever I could to help make a difference.”
To listen and read the full article, click here.
Second Democratic congressional candidate announces in NY21
Katie Wilson, a political activist and business owner from Keene, on Tuesday announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination in the 21st Congressional District.
“I am entering this race because I think the North Country truly deserves an independent voice in Washington,” she said in a telephone interview. “I am a local North Country girl, and I am willing to fight for our North Country way of life here.”
She is the second announced candidate in what is expected to be a crowded field of candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-Willsboro, in 2018.
Wilson, a mother of two children, owns The Adirondack Attic, an antiques shop in Keene, and previously managed The Bark Eater Inn, an inn and catering business which also features horse stables in Keene.
Wilson said she would bring “real, every day life experience” to government.
“I am a mom myself. So I am dealing with my children’s education and my aging parent’s health care and all the issues facing normal people in our district,” she said.
Wilson said health care will be a major issue in her campaign.
“I am, of course, pretty focused on health care,” she said. “I think we really need to work to protect our seniors and our families and our veterans and make sure that everyone has access to quality, affordable health care that is close to home.”
Rural hospitals, education, job training, and employment for veterans are other key issues.
“I’m most concerned about listening to the concerns of others here in our district,” she said.
Wilson said her local roots and business experience set her apart from other candidates in the Democratic primary.
“I was born and raised here, and I’m working class. So my ability to connect with the vast majority of our constituents is large,” she said.
NCPR interview with Brian Mann after the health care vote:
Brian: That's right. And there is one other possible candidate who says she's exploring a run and is likely to jump in. That's Katie Wilson who runs a small business in the town of Keene. She was also at last week's healthcare protest in Plattsburgh.
"I do think that she's vulnerable. We know that she has a huge machine behind her and it's going to take someone who can really inspire our demographic to come out and show up and speak up for themselves," Wilson said.
Letter to the editor: Health care pitch only helps the rich
The Post Star- Mar 14, 2017
We are witnessing the evisceration of our human right to affordable health care.
The new plan offers a $7 million annual tax cut to the 400 wealthiest households in America and significant tax breaks to insurance companies. However, 160 million households below $200,000 will not benefit at all.
Tax cuts mean 10 million to 20 million people will lose coverage immediately and almost certainly won't find new affordable coverage. It will be “accessible,” meaning they may qualify for coverage but won’t be able to afford premiums. Under the "continuing care" provision, anyone whose coverage lapses for more than 63 days will encounter a 30 percent increase in premiums when they try to come back. This will not go to the government to offset costs but directly to the insurance companies. No hardship exemptions exist.
The maximum “Obamacare” penalty for not having any coverage was $695/year. Under the new plan, after a lapse in coverage, if I wanted to buy an individual policy with a $7,500 premium, I’d have to pay an additional penalty of $2,200, directly to the insurance company’s bottom line. The plan offers state caps on Medicare funding, which means when the money runs out, my aging father is up the creek.
I’m a single mother of two, with two small businesses and no insurance. Luckily, my children's stepmother has a good insurance plan and is willing to cover my kids. But how am I supposed to help my dad? Will their stepmom still be able to afford her plan? How am I supposed to be able to afford cancer screenings and general checkups with the defunding of Planned Parenthood? How does any of this help us here in the North Country? Who is representing us?
Katie Wilson, Keene