A closer look at the NY state “millionaire’s tax” debate

  1. New York residents got more bad budget news last week when state budget officials announced that lawmakers will need to fill a $350 million dollar budget gap this year. The bad budget news renewed debate over whether lawmakers should renew a tax on the state’s highest earners. Here’s a rundown on the debate that I created on Storify:
  2. State budget officials last week announced the additional budget shortfall, which they attributed to a variety of factors, including the European debt crisis and smaller bonuses on Wall Street.
  3. Weak and unsettled economic conditions around the world — illustrated by the Eurozone financial crisis, volatility in the financial markets, and persistently disappointing data on employment, consumer confidence, and income — have darkened the State’s fiscal outlook. The significant positive receipts results early in the fiscal year have been largely eroded as the economy weakened in the summer months. With the prospect of a weak bonus season on Wall Street, even more negative pressure is being placed on the State’s receipts outlook.
    November 20, 2011 5:28:56 PM EST
  4. In the wake of the announcement, some people across the state have renewed calls to renew the so-called “Millionaire tax.” Despite its name, the tax actually affects individual earners of $200,000 or families who take in $300,000 or more annually. 
  5. Allison Sesso is deputy executive director of the Human Services Council, which represents nonprofit agencies in New York City.
  6. I support continuing a tax on high earners bc it will close the budget gap in NY and avoid cuts to important programs that help people #99NY
    November 14, 2011 3:20:09 PM EST
  7. Governor Andrew Cuomo is opposed to extending the tax, which is set to expire Dec. 31, which he says could push high-earners to other states.
  8. “He’s saying the long-term solution is not raising taxes but making the business climate more competitive,” said Kenneth Pokalsky, senior director of government affairs for the Business Council of New York State. “That is how we’re going to close the budget gap.”
    November 20, 2011 5:28:56 PM EST
  9. State Republicans are also opposed to extending the tax.
  10. I AGREE–@NYGovCuomo hold line. W/ 2nd highest combined state & local taxes in US, NY has spending-not revenue-problem. nydailynews.com/opinion/go…
    November 15, 2011 1:23:20 PM EST
  11. New York Times columnist Andrew Rosenthal argued, meanwhile, that the tax is the best budget solution.
  12. I’ll start with numbers.$350 million: New York’s budget shortfall estimate for the current fiscal year

    $3.0 billion to $3.5 billion: New York’s projected budget gap for fiscal year 2013

    Here’s one more.

    $4.59 billion: Annual average revenue over the last three years from the so-called millionaire’s tax—which is set to expire December 31

    Is that a sufficient explanation for why I don’t think Albany should let the millionaire’s tax, a surcharge on the state’s highest earners, expire? Some call it liberalism, others call it math.

    November 20, 2011 5:28:56 PM EST
  13. Raising taxes is not the only way to close a shortfall. Everyone knows that. We could slash school and infrastructure budgets, or cut health care funding for the poor. Those are better options?
    November 20, 2011 5:28:56 PM EST
  14. Amid the renewed Milionaire’s Tax debate, many parents and other activists have pointed out that schools and social services have been hit the hardest by previous rounds of state budget cuts.
  15. NY State annual budget for aid to families and children: $2.08 billion. NYC annual budget for NYPD: $3.9 billion.
    November 17, 2011 1:49:38 PM EST
  16. March 16, 2011 5:42:11 AM EDT
  17. $1.4 billion in school funding was slashed from the books last year despite fierce protests across the state.
  18. Report by Alliance for Quality Education concludes that #NY state
    budget cuts have hit poor school districts hardest.
    reut.rs/vGAu3a
    November 16, 2011 9:42:43 AM EST
  19. Albany’s Worst Budget Cuts
    April 4, 2011 8:21:06 PM EDT
  20. Budget season won’t officially start until the beginning of next year. But with no good budget news in sight, I doubt this debate will end anytime soon.
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