The Democratic majority in the Assembly on Thursday countered Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal with one of its own that creates new tax brackets for those earning between $5 million and $100 million.

Mr. Cuomo proposes an 8.82% tax on income exceeding $1 million. The Assembly proposal, introduced by Speaker Carl Heastie, keeps that rate, but progressively taxes further for wealthy earners beginning at $5 million. The Assembly’s tax structure tops out at a 10% tax for earners of more than $100 million.

“What we have here is a gazillionaire’s tax,” said E.J. McMahon, director of the New York think tank Empire Center for Public Policy. “Heastie wants to see Cuomo and raise him.”

The proposal isn’t surprising. The Assembly Democratic conference has long called for higher taxes on higher earners, while the more conservative state Senate has called for lower taxes across the board. But it marks the conference’s negotiating position as it begin haggling with the Democratic governor and the Senate over taxes.

It wasn’t clear exactly how many people would be affected by the Assembly’s tax plan. Mr. McMahon said some 1,500 state residents earn more than $10 million.

The Assembly’s move won plaudits by some liberal groups that said it would help residents at the bottom of the economic ladder.

The state tax structure is expected to be completed with the state budget by April 1.

© 2017 Wall Street Journal

You may also like

N.Y. Grapples With Tax Conformity Issues After Federal Tax Law

E.J. McMahon, research director at the Empire Center for Public Policy, a conservative-leaning think tank, stated that the tax conformity issues raised by the federal law would be the primary focus of New York tax policy in most years. However, the state and local tax deduction (SALT deduction) issue, and the related proposals to shift the state’s reliance away from the personal income tax, has drawn the lion’s share of attention. Read More

Why NYers could lose under Trump tax plan

Any savings in New York, particularly in the New York City suburbs with high taxes, would be negligible compared with what other states may see, said E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center, a fiscally conservative group in Albany. "This much is clear: A couple falling well within the middle class by downstate standards — people, in most cases, living paycheck-to-paycheck in modest suburban homes — will realize much smaller savings than their counterparts in lower-cost, lower-taxed states across the country," he wrote. Read More

Andrew Cuomo’s ‘middle-class’ con job

Gov. Cuomo says Democrats lost the presidential race last November because they ignored middle-class voters. His answer? Don’t ignore them — lie to them. Read More

Cuomo’s millionaire tax will hurt more than just millionaires

If you’re not a millionaire, you might think Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s millionaire tax surcharge won’t hurt you. Think again. Read More

A New Middle Class Tax Cut? Not Quite

In other words, as EJ McMahon at The Empire Center pointed out this morning, these tax cuts for middle earners were already approved in last year’s budget plan. Read More

START-UP NY report drawing mixed reaction

"Start-Up New York is proof positive that taxes aren't the only thing that's hindering business in the state of New York. It's clearly something bigger," Empire Center Policy Analyst Ken Girardin. Read More

Report: Much-touted Start-Up NY created few jobs

A job-creation program highly touted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration created just 408 new jobs in its first two full years, despite an advertising campaign that cost state taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Read More

Federal, state tax credits comparable solution to $15 minimum wage

A $15 minimum wage in New York state aims to eliminate low-income poverty, but Earned Income Tax Credits could be the solution without the added financial consequences to employers. Read More


Sign up to receive updates about Empire Center research, news and events in your email.


Empire Center for Public Policy
30 South Pearl St.
Suite 1210
Albany, NY 12207

Phone: 518-434-3100

General Inquiries:

Press Inquiries:


The Empire Center is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit think tank located in Albany, New York. Our mission is to make New York a better place to live and work by promoting public policy reforms grounded in free-market principles, personal responsibility, and the ideals of effective and accountable government.

Empire Center Logo Enjoying our work? Sign up for email alerts on our latest news and research.
Together, we can make New York a better place to live and work!