NYS Legislature Looking to Increase Taxes on Wealthy

Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, D-Bronx, in the New York State Assembly Chamber in Albany. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink, Pool)

The New York state Assembly and Senate are both proposing raising taxes on the wealthy in each respective chamber’s budget plan for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

The budgets, which have not yet been finalized, have significant goal overlap and hover around $200 billion, the state’s largest. In contrast, California’s state budget is $202 billion for a state with a population twice as large as New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s presented budget outlines a slightly more modest $178 billion, Spectrum News reported.

Under the proposals, individuals earning more than $1 million but less than $5 million and couples who earn more than $2 million but less than $10 million would see their income taxes raised from 8.82% to 9.85%.

For individuals earning more than $5 million but less than $25 million and couples who earn more than $10 million but less than $50 million, their personal income tax rate would rise to 10.85%

For single filers earning more than $25 million couples earning more than $50 million, the income tax rate would be increased further to 11.85%

If adapted, New York’s personal income tax would be on the highest in the country. The proposals would bring in additional $7 billion in state revenue.

Critics of the proposal say New York already has high taxes, and adding more to its highest income earners would incentivize people to move elsewhere, while proponents argue it is necessary to find the funds to help ease the state’s pandemic-induced financial crisis.

Also considered in the budget outlines is the legalization of recreational marijuana, which could bring billions in tax sale revenue.

Both bills set aside millions in funds to community and home services for the elderly, which would ease the state’s Medicaid system and encourage more independence for senior citizens as nursing homes come under scrutiny. Services would include meal delivery services, medical appointment transportation, and other daily tasks.

With both bills passed, the Senate and Assembly need to negotiate with the governor on a finalized budget deal. The budget is due by April 1st.



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