ALBANY –- Prepare for the second annual millionaire’s tax battle.
Refusing to let go of the issue, the Legislature’s top Democrat believes the governor and his allies in the GOP-led Senate will buckle to public pressure in the months ahead and impose a surcharge on people making more than $1 million annually.
“I think the public is clearly with us,’’ Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said today at the Capitol after an event with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Scheduled to expire Dec. 31 is a three-year-old income tax surcharge, which kicks in for individuals making more than $200,000 annually. It has been worth about $5 billion a year to the state in tax receipts. Supporters want to increase the surcharge’s income floor to $1 million as part of next year's budget; Cuomo insists it would push wealthy people to leave the state and he has said there is no way he will go along with the idea.
“The public has weighed in overwhelmingly that they don’t want millionaires to get a tax reduction at this time when the state’s economy is so poor,’’ Silver said.
“And I think ultimately, after several months of debate, that we and the public can win that discussion,’’ Silver said.
The fighting begins for real after Cuomo presents his 2012 budget plan in January.
In the more bad fiscal news department that has formed the headlines about New York for several years now, Cuomo again warned that the state’s finances are slipping. After an initial uptick in revenues following the budget’s adoption last April, times are turning south again for Albany’s tax receipts.
“The deficit at this point appears to be getting worse,’’ Cuomo said today. He has no figures yet, but next year’s budget was already projected to be at least $2 billion out of whack before negotiations on a new fiscal plan even begin.
“We don’t know yet what the deficit projection is,’’ Cuomo said.