Media Roundup: Patriotic Millionaires and Advocates Call Upon State to Raise Revenues from the Wealthy to Support Critical Services

January 14, 2019. On February 12th, 2019, the Patriotic Millionaires joined several organizations from across the state, including the Fiscal Policy Institute, outside the Joint Legislative Hearing on Taxes in in the Legislative Office Building in Albany to urge New York’s elected officials to raise additional revenues by asking the wealthiest New Yorkers to pay a little more. The press event was featured in several media outlets, which are listed below.

        • New York Nonprofit MediaSeveral nonprofits appeared at the state Capitol Feb. 12 to advocate for higher taxes on the wealthy to fund social services. This included a press conference outside of a state legislative hearing on taxes where advocates floated the idea of a new tax on multimillionaires, which they said would raise $2-3 billion per year. Here is the letter they sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.The star of the press conference was Morris Pearl, chair of Patriotic Millionaires and a former managing director of BlackRock. He argued that rich people such as himself can pay more in taxes without lawmakers having to worry that they would move out of state.”I will tell you as someone who knows a lot of rich people in New York, the rich people who make decisions on where to live based mainly on taxes do not live in New York, and they have not lived in New York in decades. They moved to other states like Kansas generations ago,” he said at the press conference. “Please don’t buy the empty threats of millionaires who claim they’ll leave the state if you raise their tax rate.”Representatives from VOCAL-NY, the Fiscal Policy Institute and other groups also spoke out at the press conference:
        • Crain’s New York: Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of FPI, and Morris Pearl, Patriotic Millionaires Chairman, penned an op-ed about raising money for schools, housing, good-paying green jobs, and essential community services by making two adjustments to the tax code: an expanded Millionaires Tax and a carried-interest fairness fee.
        • The New York TimesRon Deutsch, Executive Director of FPI, and Morris Pearl, Patriotic Millionaires Chairman testified at the legislative tax hearing about raising the taxes on millionaires in order to fund housing, education, and infrastructure.

          “Between then and 2016, the number of millionaires filing taxes in New York increased by 72 percent, with those millionaires’ total income increasing by 54 percent in that time, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute, a union-backed nonpartisan think tank. Non-millionaires’ income increased by 33 percent in the same period.”

        • Niagara Gazette and The Daily Star: Governor Cuomo and President Trump met on Tuesday to discuss restoring the full deduction for state and local taxes (SALT) on federal returns. The Governor blames capped deductions on SALT for the $2.3 billion tax receipts shortfall.

          “The governor and lawmakers are facing pressure from progressive activists to impose higher state income taxes on New York’s highest earners. Ron Deutsch, director of the labor-backed Fiscal Policy Institute, said his group is promoting three new tiers of surcharges for those earning $5 million or more, $10 million or more and $100 million or more.

          Commenting on the Cuomo administration’s focus on a $2.3 billion hole, Deutsch said: “The governor is trying to tamp down any way the Legislature could add funding to the budget. So this is a bit of a scare tactic, while the Legislature wants to make (spending) additions that are long overdue. Right now he seems to be blaming S.A.L.T. for everything but high blood pressure.”

        • Capitol Pressroom with Susan ArbetterRon Deutsch, Executive Director of FPI, and Morris Pearl, Patriotic Millionaires Chairman spoke on Susan Arbetter’s show about taxing the wealthiest New Yorkers to better address the needs of low- and middle-income New Yorkers.
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