State lawmakers propose new tax on high earners

Feb 18, 2021

Several New York lawmakers are proposing a tax hike on individuals making at least $300,000 in New York in hopes of bringing in an estimated $15 billion in annual revenue.

It's the latest proposal to raise taxes on high-earners and the only legislation so far this year to propose raising taxes on people making below $1 million. The bill’s left-wing backers include Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris, New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and the Working Families party.

Supporters say the tax hike would help relieve the huge drain on state revenue cause by the pandemic and avoid Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to cut state-spending 5% across-the-board and delay the start of new middle class tax cuts for one year.

However, Cuomo's budget office spokesperson said the legislation would move New York from the nation's second highest income tax to number one.

“As we’ve said, raising taxes would be best done at the federal level so as not to pit one state against another, and right now, we all need to keep our focus on Washington to ensure the critical resources it is poised to deliver to the state are fair,” spokesperson Freeman Klopott said.

Currently, the state’s tax rates range from 4% to the highest rate of 8.82% for individuals who earn over roughly $1 million.  Single individuals making between $13,900 and $80,650 pay 5.9%-6.09%. Individuals making between $80,650 to $215,400 pay 6.4% and those earning between $215,400 roughly to $1 million pay 6.85%.

“Someone making $50,000 and someone making $1 million should not pay nearly the same tax rate, as they do now,” State Sen. Robert Jackson said.