Democratic lawmakers in New York are pushing for higher taxes on the state’s wealthiest residents, a move that is facing opposition from Republicans and Governor Kathy Hochul. While Democrats argue that the tax revenue should be used to aid lower-income New Yorkers grappling with rising inflation, Republicans are concerned about the impact on the broader economy.
Governor Hochul has resisted calls to increase the personal income tax, but Democrats in the Legislature have pointed out that there are thousands of newly minted millionaires in the state who can afford to contribute more.
The Democrats’ proposal would increase taxes on people earning more than $5 million a year, with even higher rates for those earning over $25 million. Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages says the move is necessary to support all New Yorkers, especially as the gap between the rich and poor continues to widen.
The proposed tax revenue would be used to fund mass transit and hospitals that serve low-income people.
The state spending plan is due on April 1, but top lawmakers have acknowledged that breaking that deadline is a possibility. Two years ago, lawmakers approved higher tax increases, with the revenue largely going toward a record increase in direct aid for schools in New York.
Republicans, however, argue that taxing the rich will only drive them away from the state. The debate over tax increases in New York is likely to continue as lawmakers work to finalize the state budget in the coming days.
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