A group of more than 40 millionaires in New York state has written to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and top lawmakers calling on them to consider raising taxes on the state's wealthiest residents to address poverty and rebuild failing infrastructure. The letter, a copy of which was given to the AP, proposes new, higher tax rates for the top 1% of earners. The letter goes on to say additional revenue is needed to tackle child poverty, homelessness, and aging bridges, tunnels, waterlines, and roads. "As New Yorkers who have contributed to and benefited from the economic vibrancy of our state, we have both the ability and the responsibility to pay our fair share," the letter states. "We can well afford to pay our current taxes, and we can afford to pay even more."
Those signing the letter include Abigail Disney, Leo Hindery, and Steven C. Rockefeller. The tax plan, known as the one-percent tax plan, was worked out in conjunction with the Fiscal Policy Institute, a left-leaning economic think tank. The one-percent plan would create new, higher tax rates for those making $665,000 or more. Currently, single filers making more than $1,062,000 pay the state's top rate of 8.82%. Under the one-percent plan, the 8.82% would apply to anyone making $1 million to $2 million, and higher rates of 9.35%, 9.65%, and 9.99% would apply to those making $2 million to $10 million, $10 million to $100 million, and more than $100 million, respectively. Their proposal faces significant obstacles in the state Legislature. While the Democratic majority in the Assembly has its own plan to increase taxes on millionaires, the Republican-led Senate opposes the idea. (Read more millionaires stories.)