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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is at odds with his fellow Democrats, who control the state’s Assembly, over tax policy.
The focal point of this conflict is a proposed extension of the temporary income tax surcharge on individuals with taxable incomes over $200,000 (or $300,000 from joint filers), known as the ‘millionaires’ tax because most of it is paid by millionaires. If extended, the measure would raise $1 billion dollars over the next year.
There is no doubt that New York’s fiscal situation is dire. But the governor’s budget relies almost entirely on dramatic spending cuts, including cuts to K-12 education aid to the state’s poorest children.
Some of the opposition to the ‘millionaires tax’ has been driven by initial reporting that such taxation drives wealthy individuals out of the state, though this claim has since been thoroughly discredited.
In January, Gov. Cuomo explained his personal opposition to extending the millionaires’ tax, saying absurdly that “the working families of New York cannot afford tax increases.”
Frank Mauro, Executive Director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, responded, “It is unfathomable that those who have profited so tremendously from New York’s economic growth over the past two decades are not in a position to aid poor and working New Yorkers in this time of need.”
Gov. Cuomo is united with New York’s Senate Republicans in opposing extending the tax, but is facing increasingly vocal protests and polls showing that nearly two thirds of New Yorkers are in favor of extending it.