Schneiderman’s Tax on Higher-Income Earners Gains Support in Senate

ALBANY—As of today, 22 state senators have signed on to a bill that would enact a tax on New Yorkers earning over $250,000.

State Senators Pedro Espada Jr. and Diane Savino signed onto the bill after a long conference meeting Wednesday night. It measure was first introduced last week by State Senator Eric Schneiderman, but has not yet been endorsed by Majority Leader Malcolm Smith.

"There's a strong sentiment that we go on the principles of shared sacrifice," Schneiderman told me yesterday outside the Senate chamber. I asked him about a similar bill from State Senator Jeff Klein that also includes tax rebates for those earning less than $250,000.

Schneiderman said "philosophically, Jeff and I are coming from exactly the same place."

Savino said that she has signed onto both bills, because the proposals will "find revenues to deal with some of the difficult cuts that have been presented."

"Somewhere between these two bills is that commitment," Savino said.

A companion bill has been introduced in the Assembly.

David Paterson has waffled on the issue.

The Working Families Party has been pushing Schneiderman's bill, and came out against Klein's.

Party spokesman Dan Levitan pointed out that a poll released earlier this week showed 59 percent of those surveyed support raising taxes on those making more than $250,000, and 72 percent oppose cutting education and health care in place of raising income taxes. Schneiderman’s Tax on Higher-Income Earners Gains Support in Senate