Nearly three-quarters of New York voters say they want an income tax surcharge on the state’s wealthiest residents, according to a new Siena Poll out today.
“Voters give a resounding yes, 72-26 percent, to increasing taxes on New Yorkers earning more than one million dollars a year,” said Siena spokesman Steven Greenberg. “And they do so after being told that supporters – including many Assembly Democrats – say it will raise enough money from those who can most afford it to offset additional education and health care cuts, and opponents – including Cuomo and Senate Republicans – say it will make New York less attractive to business, putting new and existing jobs at risk. In March, and without the arguments in support and opposition, voters supported the millionaire‟s tax 71-27 percent.”
The current tax hits married couples earning more than $300,000, and singles earning more than $200,000. It is slated to expire on Dec. 31 and Senate Republicans have vowed to block its renewal. Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos told TALK-1300 AM that he had Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s assurance that the surcharge would be allowed to die.
According to the poll however, support goes across party lines.
“A millionaire‟s tax has support across the spectrum, including 83 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of independents and even 55 percent of Republicans. It is supported by three-quarters of New Yorkers earning less than $50,000 per year and two-thirds of those earning more than $100,000,” Mr. Greenberg said. “It is supported by more than two-thirds of voters from every region of the state.”
The survey comes out as Occupy Wall Street enters its second month. Elected officials who have been urging the protesters to push for concrete policy changes have suggested that extending the millionaire’s tax would be a good place to start. Today, advocates and labor unions are beginning a major campaign to push for the extension of the tax.