Millionaires in NYC may face highest tax rate in the nation

NEW YORK (NewsNation Now) — Millionaires in New York City are expected to pay the highest taxes in the nation under a new state budget approved Wednesday.

It’s the realization of an idea progressives in the Empire State have been fighting for, and their embattled governor has long opposed: raising taxes on the rich.

For years, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has argued such a move would drive business out of state; but hamstrung by multiple investigations and allegations of sexual harassment and improper conduct by as many as 10 women, the three-term Democratic governor has been left with little choice.

Republicans, in the minority in both New York’s Assembly and Senate, have been largely shut out of negotiations and relegated to little more than political spectators.

“This budget is a bad budget for New Yorkers,” said Republican Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt during a debate that stretched into Wednesday morning. “It’s a bad budget for working-class, tax-paying, law-abiding New Yorkers.”

“We are asking those who have a little more to do a little more,” Democratic Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins told NewsNation affiliate WTEN in Albany. “So we’re not looking at the same inequities year after year.”

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, also a Democrat, joined in praising the document.

“This is the best state budget we’ve ever seen for New York City and for the whole state of New York,” he said. “Absolutely the best ever.”

A NewsNation analysis of the data finds the $212 billion budget for fiscal 2022 would have New York’s top earners paying between 13.5% and 14.8% in combined city and state taxes, more than California’s 13.3%, which is currently the nation’s highest.

“This is a different time in history, my friends. We haven’t been here before,” Cuomo said during a Wednesday briefing — a reference to the need for billions of dollars to help the state recover from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

New York Republicans fear the governor’s earlier prediction may now come to pass, warning of a mass exodus of wealthy New Yorkers to states like Florida and Texas. 

Some argue it’s already well underway. 

Former President Trump, for one, a life-long New Yorker, became a Florida resident in 2019.

California, Minnesota and Washington are among other states considering tax increases for high-income earners.