Many in the media are touting a recent overhaul of the state of New York’s tax scheme as a sign of a new age of increased burden for top earners and a victory for the 99 percent. But close inspection reveals that such comparisons exclude the contributions of a soon to expire, 3-year-old “millionaires’ tax,” and the new codes favor the rich.

Along with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, those reporters are calculating their claim on New York’s old base rate without including the millionaires’ surtax. When the surcharge is included, we see that the new rates will reduce taxes across the board, but deliver considerably higher savings to the wealthy. Those earning between $500,000 and $2 million annually will see their taxes drop by 2.12 percent, while those making between $40,000 and $150,000 will get a meager .4 percent reduction.

So the new codes serve the rich much more than they do the middle class. Plus, the revenue they will generate will be less than half of what was collected by the expiring surtax. –ARK


Cuomo has said he believes the tax overhaul will help to close the state’s deficit and stimulate the economy by cutting taxes for the middle class. And it’s true; his tax plan indeed has the wealthy paying more than they would if the surtax had been allowed to expire.

But in reality, as The Times points out a few paragraphs into its story, the cuts for individuals in the lower tax brackets are modest, and the revenue to be produced by the tax-code changes — projected at about $1.9 billion — is about half of the $4 billion raised annually by the expiring surtax.

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