State Legislature Passes Tax Overhaul to Raise Rates on Millionaires

By Jill Colvin on December 8, 2011 7:25am 

State lawmakers passed a tax overhaul plan that increases rates on millionaires.
State lawmakers passed a tax overhaul plan that increases rates on millionaires.
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Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

MANHATTAN — State lawmakers passed a major overhaul of the New York tax code that will raise rates for the highest-earning New Yorkers while reducing taxes on the middle-class.

The legislative package, which was announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday, aims to lower taxes for approximately 4.4 million New Yorkers, while slapping just over 30,000 with higher rates.

It also includes $1 billion in new infrastructure spending and is expected to generate an additional $1.9 billion in revenue a year.

“The Senate has worked in bipartisan fashion with the Governor and the Assembly to show that state government can function in the best interests of taxpayers,” Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos said in a statement lauding the Wedensday vote, which passed the body 55-0. The Assembly also later approved the measure.

“Today we are taking another huge step forward by cutting taxes for millions of individuals and businesses and providing new investments and incentives to help businesses create private sector jobs,” he said.

Support for the plan marked a reversal for the governor, who had previously said that high taxes in the state were already driving residents and businesses out of New York.

But the move earned an outpouring of praise from leaders across the political spectrum, despite Mayor Michael Bloomberg's reluctance to comment on the bill.

“I’m certainly not going to second-guess him or tell him how to run the state,” Bloomberg told reporters at an unrelated press conference Wednesday ahead of the vote, adding that he has “no intention” of following suit by raising city taxes.

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