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These New York One-Percenters Want to Be Taxed More

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Governor Cuomo at the New York State Capitol on March 15, 2016.Photograph by Erik McGregor—Pacific Press LightRocket via Getty Images

Nearly 50 of New York’s wealthiest residents are asking for a tax hike.

In an open letter sent Monday to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York state legislature, the 1-percenters urged New York to pass a new, permanent tax plan for those in the top 1% of the state’s income threshold. The proposed plan would replace a temporary “millionaires tax” set to expire at the end of next year.

The letter’s signatories called for their increased tax dollars to go toward pathways out of poverty and investments in infrastructure. The letter—which was organized by the liberal Fiscal Policy Institute and the Responsible Wealth Project—pointed out the record levels of homeless families and child poverty in New York State.

“As New Yorkers who have contributed to and benefited from the economic vibrancy of our state, we have both the ability and the responsibility to pay our fair share,” the letter said. “We can well afford to pay our current taxes, and we can afford to pay even more. Our state needs to invest this revenue in our struggling schools, in anti-poverty measures and in infrastructure improvements. Our state’s long‐term economic prosperity depends on strong investments in our people and our communities.”

In 2014, 39% of wealth in New York City went to the top 1%; across the state, 30.2% of wealth was funneled to that small demographic, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute. But in combined state and local taxes, those who make under $100,000 annually pay a higher effective tax rate than wealthier households.

 

“In the last thirty-five years, there’s been an enormous widening in pre-tax income. The fact that public policy has contributed to widening the gap is shameful,” David Levine, one of the letter’s signatories, said in a statement.