Feb. 10, 2020 By Kristen Torres
Several Queens lawmakers joined officials from a prominent teachers union Monday to unveil results of a new poll that showed broad support for a proposed state-wide wealth tax.
An overwhelming majority of survey respondents—92 percent—supported new taxes on New York’s millionaires and billionaires as a way to cover the state’s budget deficit, which currently stands at $6.1 billion.
The survey, which was conducted by Hart Research Associates and based on the response of 1,000 registered New York voters, revealed widespread support for a wealth tax on New Yorkers with more than $1 billion, and for a new tax on residents with incomes of more than $5 million. The survey was released by the United Federation of Teachers.
Survey respondents also supported a pied-à-terre tax.
“We won’t be able to survive in New York if we don’t get the wealthy to pay their fair share in taxes,” said State Senator Jessica Ramos in a tweet Monday.
Support for the new taxes spanned party lines, with 95 percent of Democrats, 87 percent of Republicans and 89 percent of unaffiliated voters backing the tax proposals, according to survey results.
City Council Speaker Corey Johnson came out in support of higher taxes for the city’s ultra-rich, and said he’s fighting for a state budget that asks the wealthiest residents to pay their fair share.
“I’m in Albany…fighting for a fair budget that asks the wealthiest New Yorkers to kick in a little bit more,” Johnson tweeted Monday.
State Senator Michael Gianaris—who represents Astoria, Long Island City and Sunnyside/Woodside— also voiced his support for the proposed taxes on Monday.
“In a state and a city that has incredible wealth as well as incredible poverty, it seems fair to ask those who can afford it to help chip in more so that we can properly address some of these priorities,” Gianaris said.
The New York State United Teachers Union said the poll shows New Yorkers believe taxing the ultra-rich is the right way to make “significant investments in critical state services,” such as education, health care, public housing and transportation.
The NYSUT also said imposing a wealth tax on the more than 46,000 multimillionaires living in the state would generate more than $12 billion in revenue for the state.