New York City’s richest residents had a particularly painful tax season this year. While some howl, others say it’s about time.
Tax returns due today are the first to include a three-year plan for a state “millionaire’s tax” on wealthy New Yorkers. Singles making more than $200,000, or couples making more than $300,000, will now pay a 7.85 percent state income tax, up from the permanent 6.85 percent rate.
The very wealthy were hit even harder. All those making more than $500,000 must now pay 8.97 percent. That’s on top of the city income tax of 3.648 percent.
The taxes were put in place to help close the state’s budget gap. The hikes are so high, some rich New Yorkers are even trying to find a way to get out of paying it.
“The tax increases this year have caused some people to call me, asking how they can change their legal residence to a low-tax jurisdiction such as Pennsylvania or New Hampshire,” said John Genova, a Manhattan tax attorney.
“If you compared state local tax burdens for incomes starting at $500,000 or more, New York City undoubtedly would be the highest-taxed big city in the country,” said E.J. McMahon, director of the conservative Empire Center for New York State Policy.
Others have little pity for the rich. “With classrooms, hospitals, and the subways all facing massive budget cuts, asking the wealthiest New Yorkers to pay a little more in taxes is the fair thing to do,” said Dan Levitan of the Working Families Party.