Friday, March 28, 2008

Progress On The Budget Leaves Out The Tax On Wealthy

April 1st is four days away and the budget is starting to form into a more solid object. Unfortunately that will not include an additional tax on New Yorkers that make over a million dollars. With the enormous gap in the state's budget, that $1.5 billion in extra revenue sure would have been nice, but the objections from the slightly Republican Senate and their ringleader Joe Bruno quashed those hopes. Gov. Paterson just wants to have it done...and he sided with Bruno in order to be ready for Tuesday.

From The NY Times:

Mr. Silver’s plan for a so-called millionaires’ tax, which had been met with skepticism from the governor’s office and the State Senate from its inception, was a critical piece of the Assembly’s budget plan. The Assembly estimated that it would add more than $1.5 billion in revenue, and Mr. Silver defended it vigorously.

But as it became increasingly clear that neither Mr.. Paterson nor Mr. Bruno would support the plan, Mr. Silver agreed to stand down.

“There will not be an income tax on high earners as part of the budget,” he said in an interview Thursday night. But he pledged to continue pressing for a tax increase on the wealthiest New Yorkers once the budget is completed. “My conference and I still believe it’s the appropriate thing to do, and it is what we should be doing as we go forward.”

The likelihood of it passes looks slim, at least for this year. Paterson needs this budget under his belt and Bruno has no intention of spreading the burden of the recession onto the rich. What we need is to make the Senate blue this November and restart next session with full control of the state government. Unfortunately for now, it seems that everything is being decided by the three men in a room, and only one of them passionately wants to see the millionaire's tax through.