(The Center Square) – Already home to the nation’s highest tax burden, it appears lawmakers and state officials in New York are ready to take more.
The New York Post reported Monday that legislative leaders and the Cuomo administration were close to a deal on a spending plan that would make income taxes even higher.
In talking with reporters Monday afternoon, Cuomo didn’t talk taxes, but he did say both sides had reached “a conceptual agreement on all budget issues.” That said, though, he did not reveal many specifics.
The budget was due to be approved by last Thursday. As of Monday evening, no votes had taken place. Gov. Andrew Cuomo had cited difficulties tied to the COVID-19 pandemic for the delay, as sides have not been able to hold face-to-face negotiations.
“It's been a complicated process on top of a complicated product,” he said. “But this budget will set the trajectory for the state for the next 10 years. I believe it. … (Legislative leaders) are working it through with their conferences. We’re dotting some I's, we're crossing some T's, but that's where we are.”
The Post’s report indicates that individuals making more than $1 million and couples earning above $2 million would pay a 9.65% tax rate through 2024. Individuals making more than $5 million would see their income taxed at 10.3%, while those at $25 million or more would pay a 10.9% rate.
The deal also includes an increase in the corporate tax rate, from 6.5% to 7.25% through 2023.
Those figures are only slightly lower than what the Assembly proposed in its plan. Lawmakers there wanted to raise the millionaire’s tax from 8.82% to 9.85. They also wanted to establish new tax brackets for people earning $5 million (10.85%) and $25 million (11.85%).
Just last month, Cuomo and state Budget Director Robert Mujica said that the combination of federal stimulus funding plus higher than anticipated revenues meant there was not a need for significant increases. However, lawmakers have sought to spend more than the governor initially proposed in his budget plan.
In all, the proposed tax increases are expected to generate $4 billion. However, some fear that the hikes may hasten people leaving the city and state.
Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, R-Pulaski, tweeted Monday that the state has already seen a population drop of 1.5 million in the last decade.
“Outmigration is already happening,” he posted. “It's not a matter of ‘if,’ it's a matter of ‘how many more?’”
As the leaders failed to pass a spending plan on Monday, it likely means that up to 39,000 state workers may not get paid on time, as state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli noted on Thursday. The people affected will be those on state institution payrolls, including health care and correctional workers.