Bill de Blasio, arguably the most far-left mayor in New York City history, and easily one of the most far left elected officials in the country today, has launched a new salvo in his battlefield in the left’s war on the rich that has even some of his fellow progressives alarmed.
Mayor de Blasio, who as a young man was an “activist for Nicaragua’s ruling Sandinista party,” is calling for a new “millionaire’s tax” to pay for improvements in the subway system, as well as half-price fares for low-income New Yorkers.
According to the New York Times:
The proposed new tax would raise about $700 million to $800 million a year, with more than $500 million going toward capital costs for subways and buses and about $250 million for the half-price MetroCard program, city officials said. It would increase the city’s highest income tax rate by about half a percentage point, to 4.4 percent from about 3.9 percent, for married couples with incomes above $1 million and individuals who make more than $500,000.
City officials estimate that the tax would be paid by about 32,000 New York City tax filers, or fewer than 1 percent of those who file their taxes in the city. New Yorkers already contribute to the authority through various taxes and fees, and the city has committed $2.5 billion for the agency’s current capital improvement plan.
For New Yorkers, hearing de Blasio call for a special tax on the city’s “millionaires and billionaires” is as familiar as hearing the New York Knicks are in turmoil.
In fact, de Blasio campaigned for mayor by calling for almost the exact same Millionaire’s Tax in 2013, except that tax was ostensibly to pay for prekindergarten and after-school programs rather than to fix the subways.
That call was also rejected by the Albany’s Senate Republicans. And there is reason to hope they’ll reject this Millionaire Tax as well.
Already, the wealthy pay a heavier tax burden in New York than they would anywhere else in the nation.
And although they are regularly criticized by the left for not paying their “fair share”, New York’s richest one percent are paying “45.7 percent of the $7.2 billion in income taxes”
How they would react to being required to pay even more in taxes is unclear, but even New York’s ultra-liberal governor Andrew Cuomo has expressed concern that the wealthy may grow tired of handing their dough to Uncle Sam:
“People will take a certain amount of abuse and then there is a point,” he said. “The question is, what is that point? Nobody knows for sure, but you don’t want to reach that point.”
Indeed, reports indicate that many have already reached that point.
Socialist Bill de Blasio will run for re-election on a Millionaire’s Tax proposal, and it may prove as popular with the electorate as the Millionaire’s Tax proposal that initially helped win him his office.
However, New Yorkers, who are so reliant on their rich for tax revenue, may be wise to heed the warning about the goose and the golden egg.