Local elected officials and organizations will rally in White Plains today to support the extension of the “millionaire’s tax.”
The event—sponsored by the Working Families Party, Alliance for Quality Education, , Community Voices Heard, WESPAC, AFL-CIO Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body, CWA, NYSUT and 99NewYork—will start at 3 p.m., in front of the , at 148 Martine Ave.
The "millionaire's tax," which took effect in 2009, imposes a surcharge on singles who make more than $200,000 and joint filers who make more than $300,000. Click to read more on the millionaire’s tax.
“We're calling on Albany to make sure the solutions they enact measure up to the size of the job crisis that we face,” said Pat Welsh, chairman of the Westchester-Putnam Working Families Party. “The tax reform package must raise at least $5 billion that will disappear from the sunset of the current millionaires' tax to allow New York to reverse painful cuts, provide property tax relief and invest in jobs and growth for our future."
Rally organizers say that everyone in society needs to pay their fair share and that the rich cand do without $5 billion in tax breaks. According to Huffington Post, a Congressional Budget Office report shows that income for the richest 1 percent of Americans grew by 275 percent between 1979 and 2007—compared with a rate of growth of just fewer than 40 percent for most of the middle class. Last year, the median annual income for U.S. workers was $26,364—meaning that 50 percent of Americans who earn a paycheck make less than that, Huffington Post reports.
Cuomo admits, in an Op-Ed piece, that the New York’s permanent tax code is unjust—as individuals making $20,000 pay the same tax rate as those making $20 million. However, he says the millionaire’s tax failed to shift the burden to the super wealthy, and alleviate financial burdens for the middle class since it raised taxes on those who make $200,000, which he says are “hardly millionaires.”
Cuomo’s says more money needs to be injected back into the economy with tax credits that incentivize private sector job growth.
“I would create multiple brackets and rates increasing on a graduated basis throughout and indexed to inflation,” said Cuomo. “I would add more income brackets for the middle income, and add high end brackets. The actual rate span should be several points from low to high.”
According to Huffington Post, a Spectrem Group survey says that 68 percent of millionaires—people with investments of $1 million or more—support raising taxes on people who earn $1 million or more in income as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
“It's encouraging to see the Governor and the Legislature talk about real reforms to make our tax code fairer and allow the state to invest in jobs and growth for the future,” said Welsh. “We haven't seen the details yet, but we believe the solutions must meet the scale of the jobs crisis. Many people think that government is taken over by the 1 percent, Albany has a chance to prove that's not so.”
There are also those who are fully against raising taxes on the rich. According to the New York Times, state Conservative Party Chair Michael R. Long said raising taxes “send the wrong signals to those who must live with the government’s decision to take more of their hard-earned paycheck to pay for the special interest of select clientele.”
Heather Briccetti, acting president of the Business Council of New York State, told the New York Times that the State should foster an “improved business climate," not push new taxes, and create a "pro-business state.”
Click here for an Op-Ed in the New York Post against the tax.
What do you think?
- Should the State continue or expire the millionaire’s tax? Why or why not?
- What do you think of Cuomo’s proposal?
- How do you think the State should be raising money?
- What should the State spend the funds on?
Take our poll and tell us in the comments.