Op-Ed By Assemblymember Walter T. Mosley
Several weeks ago, the President released a budget that promises to cut vital and projected revenue that New York State depends on, in favor of military spending. New York City in particular is facing the possibility of cuts due to our status as a sanctuary city. In the face of actual and future cuts, New York State needs other revenue methods to continue providing the services that have made our state the place it is today.
I strongly support an extended and expanded Millionaires Tax. In 2009, the Assembly raised the tax on households earning $300,000 and above to 6.85% to 9.97%. This tax affects around 47,000 families and currently provides around $4 million in revenue to our state government. These rates are set to expire at the end of the year.
An expansion or this tax, or even an extension of the current rates, will benefit our entire state. The services funded by this revenue make our entire state stronger, by ensuring that no child goes hungry, no family has to live on the streets, and everyone has access to the same opportunities. An extension of the Millionaire’s Tax is vital for our city and state, especially as we face down drastic federal cuts.
Affordable housing is one of the most important issues in New York. Rents are rising everywhere, and in my district, an estimated 20% to 30% of households are severely rent burdened, meaning they pay more than 50% of their income towards rent. This is a reality across the city, and more must be done to ensure affordable housing for people at all income levels.
That is why I support a “mansion tax” on luxury condo and home sales, and directing that money towards programs that support low-income people, families and senior citizens who are in desperate need of affordable housing.
The carried interest tax loophole is when financial managers treat their earnings as capital gains rather than income, to pay a lower tax on their money. This gives a tax break to some of the wealthiest members of our society, and robs our state of needed revenue. All citizens of New York pay taxes, so why should Wall Street bankers not pay their fair share? New York has the ability to close this loophole, and potentially gain $3.5 billion in revenue in the process.
Part of living in this great city is contributing to its success. And those who have the most should contribute to our city a fair rate. The tax paid by 47,000 of the richest households may not be a significant burden, but the extra revenue the state gains from these New Yorkers will make a dramatic difference in the lives of low-income children and families, who rely on state-sponsored services and could become the next generation of millionaires. I am proud to support these initiatives, and I hope voters and taxpayers across the state see the same value in these plans.
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