A ‘Raise Our Taxes’ Poverty movement is being led by a group of 51 New York millionaires who want lawmakers to raise taxes — on New York millionaires.
In a letter addressed to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and state legislators, the group — working in conjunction with the left-leaning Fiscal Policy Institute and Responsible Wealth project — called for a permanent tax on the wealthy to replace a temporary one, with the revenue raised going to investments in poverty programs and infrastructure according to Portland Press Herald.
“In the spirit of shared sacrifice, we, the undersigned, call for a balanced solution that includes maintaining, expanding, and making permanent the top marginal income tax rates for upper-income New Yorkers like us who can afford to pay more,” the millionaires wrote in the letter, which was sent to lawmakers in Albany on Monday.
The poverty from ‘Raise our taxes’ signatories include some familiar names — Steven C. Rockefeller, Abigail Disney and leveraged buyout trailblazer Lewis Cullman.
The group threw its support behind the Fiscal Policy Institute’s “1% Plan for New York Tax Fairness,” which calls for tax rates of 7.65 percent to 9.99 percent for a number of brackets starting at $665,000 — the income threshold for the top percent of New Yorkers, a group to which each signatory belongs.
The rates would replace a temporary “millionaires tax” that is set to expire at the end of 2017.
In the letter, the group writes that the state’s long-term viability rests on its investment in human capital and physical infrastructure.
“We need to invest in pathways out of poverty and up the economic ladder for all of our fellow citizens, including strong public education from pre-K to college,” they write. “And, we need to invest in the fragile bridges, tunnels, waterlines, public buildings, and roads that we all depend on.”
The people who want New York to raise their taxes, they say, should fund such investments. At the same time, the group of top-earners also calls on lawmakers to make permanent a set of temporary lower tax rates for working families.
“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,” they write. “We can well afford to pay our current taxes, and we can afford to pay even more… Everyone does better when everyone does better.”
Cuomo and state legislative leaders are negotiating their 2016-2017 budget this month. On Friday, the governor described the discussions as tough, citing disagreements over his proposals to increase the state minimum wage to $15 an hour, create a 12-week paid family leave program and address government corruption.
“It’s as difficult a budget season as I’ve gone through,” he told reporters.
The ‘Raise our taxes’ for poverty one-percenters who signed the letter said they would also support the plan unveiled by the New York State Assembly last month, which includes a millionaire tax of its own.