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New York’s Wealthiest Focus of "Fair-Share" Tax Plan

February 2, 2009

New York City, NY - New Yorkers on the upper end of the income scale are targeted in new "fair-share" tax legislation being drawn up in the State Senate. In order to help close the state's $15 billion deficit, increased income taxes may be in store for the state's richest residents.

State Senator Eric Schneiderman thinks it's time these wealthy New Yorkers shouldered more of the burden. The New York City Democrat says even with an anticipated federal stimulus, in order to minimize deep cuts in the programs that help most working families, an income tax increase may be necessary. The proposal he's drawing up will impact those with the deepest pockets.

"Those who benefitted the most from the economic boom - in which New Yorkers made billions of dollars - are going to have to pitch in, now that we're in hard times."

Schneiderman says the bill he hopes to have ready in the next week or two essentially will amount to a restoration of tax rates that used to be in place.

Campaign for Fiscal Equity, which seeks to reform the state's educational funding, is among the groups favoring Schneiderman's goal of fair-share tax reform. Executive Director Geri Palast says it is one way to minimize the budget deficit's impact on school children.

"We need to begin with those who can bear the burden the best, and those are the wealthiest New Yorkers."

Opponents of tax increases say higher taxes kill job growth.

Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - NY