A group of New York’s wealthiest residents is asking the state to raise their taxes.
Eighty people, including George Soros, Steven Rockefeller, and Abigail Disney, wrote to New York state lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo saying they and other millionaires should be taxed more to support infrastructure, schools, and programs to help the poor and homeless, the New York Daily News reported.
“Now is the time to invest in the long-term economic viability of New York,” the letter reads. “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. And, we need to invest in the fragile bridges, tunnels, waterlines, public buildings, and roads that we all depend on.”
The letter endorses a plan called the “1 Percent Tax Plan for Tax Fairness,” which would create new, higher income tax brackets for the state’s wealthiest individuals to raise a projected $2 billion.
The left-leaning Fiscal Policy Institute, a think tank focused on economic policy, and the Responsible Wealth project, a group of America’s wealthiest individuals who support “fair taxes and corporate accountability,” helped formulate the proposal
Ron Deutsch, executive director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, called it “refreshing” that the state’s wealthiest were willing to pay more.
The state legislature, however, is not as supportive of the proposal. While the Democratic majority in the Assembly has its own plan to raise taxes on the wealthy, the Republican-led Senate does not support the idea.
“Whether it’s income taxes, property taxes, business taxes, user fees or tolls, we don’t support raising taxes or asking hard-working New Yorkers to dig deeper into their pockets to pay more,” Senate leader John Flanagan (R-Smithtown) said, according to the Guardian.
Lawmakers are currently working out the details of the state’s budget and hope to have a deal in place by April 1.
Lawmakers largely ignored a similar letter sent to them last year.