by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
New York’s budget (which was due last week but is tardy as usual) is on the verge of passing with a provision that would make some of its residents the most highly taxed in the country, ahead of even California’s. Today, New York State’s income tax for single filers above earnings of $1.08 million is 8.82 percent. The proposal currently circulating would create two additional tax bands at $5 million and $25 million of income. Single filers would pay a surtax of 9.65 percent above $1 million, then 10.3 and 10.9 percent, respectively, at income above the other two levels. Other taxes, such as death duties, are likely to go up as well.
These surtaxes sit atop the New York City income tax of 3.88 percent. So the most affluent New Yorkers can expect to pay 13.53 to 14.78 percent income tax on top of all their other tax bills. …
… New York State and City are unusually dependent on high earners; in the city, the one-percenters paid 42.5 percent of all income taxes in 2018. Meanwhile, the nightlife and performances that have long been the city’s principal attractions to affluent people remain mostly shut down. The streets are messier than they’ve been in decades, restaurants are operating at half capacity, homeless encampments are everywhere, and crime is way up. How does it make sense to raise taxes at a moment when the metropolis would seem increasingly familiar to Snake Plissken?
It doesn’t. What does make sense is that Cuomo is in the mood to give the left wing of his party everything its lawmakers want in hopes that they’ll forget about impeaching him for his well-documented history of sexual harassment. He’s hoping to buy his way out of a jam using the AmEx cards of the most successful New Yorkers.