New York State's so-called millionaire tax, temporarily raising the state's top income tax rate to 8.82 percent from the permanent law limit of 6.85 percent, is next scheduled to expire at the end of 2019. The added tax generates roughly $4.5 billion a year, about 9 percent of net personal income tax revenues, making New York more dependent than ever on the highest-earning one percent of its taxpayers.
The future of the tax has now emerged as an issue in the gubernatorial campaign.
Once upon a time, anyone who wanted to know what local government employees were paid had to pick the right meeting to go to and hope the board didn’t go into executive session, or file a Freedom of Information Act request and wait. Enter the Empire Center for Public Policy.
As the state legislative session comes to a close, we often focus on the things the Legislature should be doing.
Her tax plan is “completely unrealistic and excessive,” Mr. McMahon said, adding that it is “based on the assumption that businesses and individuals alike are simply oblivious to higher tax rates.”
A combination of decades of free-wheeling generosity by local school boards, pressure to increase teacher pay from politically powerful unions, and state laws and policies that make it impossible for districts to rein in spending has gotten New York to the point where it spends more per student and offers the highest teacher salaries of any other state in the country.
Molinaro’s rhetoric made it all sound obvious — and easy. In fact, New York faces real financial constraints that’ll limit options for whoever occupies the governor’s office starting next January.
Among New York school districts with enrollments of 4,000 or more, the list of highest property taxes per pupil is what you’d expect — topped by Great Neck, Scarsdale, Syosset and Bedford.
In fifth place is a somewhat less wealthy outlier: the Northport-East Northport district. It will raise $28,556 per pupil in property taxes next year, based on data from the state’s 2018-19 Property Tax Report Card. That’s 57 percent above the Suffolk County average.
On Monday, as Empire Center fiscal expert E.J. McMahon noted, Census numbers pegged New York’s 2016 per-student outlays at $22,366, or nearly twice the $11,762-per-student national average. And the gap, McMahon adds, has only been growing.