Local clergy gather to speak out against tax reform

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. – Prior to Tuesday’s vote, clergy from various faiths gathered in downtown Binghamton to speak out against the tax reform bill.

A community pray-in was held at United Presbyterian Church at noon.

Priests, ministers, and a rabbi took turns decrying the ways they feel the legislation will hurt the poor and middle class in Congresswoman Claudia Tenney’s district.

Among their concerns are the elimination of the Obamacare individual health insurance mandate, the capping of state and local tax deductions, and the fact that tax cuts that target the middle class expire while those assisting the wealthy are permanent.

The Reverend Peter Cook, Executive Director of the New York State Council of Churches, says clergy members must speak up on behalf of the vulnerable.

“This is not new to us.  We have been at this for a very long time.  Churches across the theological spectrum and the political spectrum have been strong advocates for the social safety net,” said Cook.

Faiths represented included Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Congregational and Reform Judaism.

Similar faith events in opposition to the tax bill were held in other Republican congressional districts today including Syracuse, Corning, Kingston, and Glens Falls.