Upping the ante on de Blasio’s NYC tax hike?

by E.J. McMahon |  | NY Torch

A bill implementing a larger New York City income tax hike than the one proposed by Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has been introduced in the Legislature by state Sen.Adriano Espaillat, a Democrat representing upper Manhattan and the Bronx.

De Blasio campaigned on a promise to boost the rate on taxable incomes of $500,000 or more by 0.55 percentage points, from the current 3.86 percent to 4.41 percent.

Espaillat’s bill (S.6011) would increase the rate by 0.75 percent, to a new top level of 4.61 percent—the highest level since the tax was enacted in 1966. Like de Blasio’s proposal, Espaillat’s bill would dedicate the proceeds of the tax increase to pre-K and after school programs. The bill was introduced yesterday and referred to Rules Committee. There’s no Assembly “same as” (not yet, anyway).

The bill language, in full:

It’s not immediately clear whether Espaillat’s larger rate increase represents a drafting error or wishful thinking — or whether de Blasio knows about it.

Without flatly pledging to oppose it, Governor Cuomo has tried to pour cold water on de Blasio’s tax hike proposal. However, Cuomo himself has twice extended a higher state income tax rate on incomes starting at $1 million for single payers and $2 million for couples, and he has not publicly taken a stand on whether he will allow that tax hike to expire on schedule at the end of 2017.

- E.J. McMahon is the President at the Empire Center for Public Policy.