New York millionaires urge higher taxes for the state's top earners

New York skyline
By Andrew Harbison, CA Today

29 March 2016

A group of New York millionaires have sent a letter to the city's governor calling for higher taxes for the wealthiest in the state.

The “1% Plan for New York Tax Fairness” calls for new tax rates ranging from 7.65% to 9.99% for those with an income over $665,000 (around £473,000).

The letter, signed by around 40 of New York's wealthiest people, states that “too many New Yorkers are struggling economically, and the state’s ailing infrastructure is in desperate need of attention. We cannot afford to ignore these challenges". The letter also calls the child poverty rate in New York "shameful".

Think-tank the Fiscal Policy Institute organised the letter, which was sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Steven C.Rockefeller, Leo Hindery Jr. and Abigail Disney are among those who signed the letter.

Alongside the call for an increase in taxation for the wealthiest residents, the letter said taxes for lower earners should remain between 4% and 6.85%.

The average income of New York's richest 1% was $2m (around £1,420,000) in 2014, nearly 43 times the average income of the bottom 99%, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute.

Proposed tax increases under the 1% plan

Taxable income rangeCurrent ratesProposed 1% plan
$665,000 - $1,000,0006.85%7.65%
$1,000,000 - $2,000,0006.85% 8.82%
$2,000,000 - $10,000,0008.82%9.35%
$10,000,000 - $1000,000,0008.82%9.85%
Above $100,000,0008.82%9.99

"Those of us in the top 1% of incomes have a particular responsibility to contribute to the public sector at a higher marginal tax rate than everyone else,” said Lewis Cullman, developer of 'At-a-Glance' calendars.

Leo Hindery, managing partner of InterMedia Partners, said that investing in the city's people and infrastructure would require "people like me to continue to pay a higher tax rate, as we should".

“It is refreshing to see that many wealthy New Yorkers are more than willing to expand and make permanent the temporary top income tax rates set to expire at the end of next year," said Mike Lapham,  Responsible Wealth project director.

"They are willing to step up and support higher taxes on themselves so that we can fund our glaring human and physical infrastructure needs."


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