An Open Letter to Governor Cuomo and the NYS Legislature

New York State has many unmet needs. People of wealth have a unique ability and responsibility to pay their fair share to help the state meet those needs. If you are in the top 1% by wealth and/or income (i.e., household income over $450,000 and/or net assets over $10 million), please take a moment now to sign the letter and share with others in your networks. Thank you in advance!

Background: In 2009, when New York State faced a $15 billion budget deficit, nobody was talking about taxing the rich, until 100 wealthy members of Responsible Wealth signed a letter saying, in effect, tax us. That letter led to the first millionaires tax in New York, which has been on the books ever since, bringing roughly $5 billion in critical revenue to the state each year. We wrote similar letters in 2011 and 2017. Now it's time for wealthy New Yorkers like you to speak up again and say, “We are willing to do our part to support a strong economy and meet the pressing education, health, housing and infrastructure needs in New York State.”

Please take a moment to sign now. Contact Mike Lapham at mlapham@responsiblewealth.org if you have any questions about the letter. Thank you.

2009 Letter to Gov. Patterson & the Legislature:

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An Open Letter to Governor Cuomo
and the NYS Legislature

 

Dear Governor Cuomo and members of the New York State Legislature,

New York is a wealthy state with a growing economy and solid economic indicators. However, New York leads the nation in income inequality and has many significant unmet needs – in education, health care, housing, human services, infrastructure, the environment and more. Although a leader on several economic and policy issues, our state is not meeting the needs of all New Yorkers.

We are upper-income New Yorkers who value the quality of life in our great state. As business leaders and investors, we know that to have a broadly shared, robust economic future, the State of New York needs to invest in the education, health and welfare of its citizens, and invest in the technology and infrastructure on which a strong economy depends.

As top-tier taxpayers, we can and should be asked to do more to contribute to a more equitable state tax structure. Taxing income above $1 million at 9.62% (up from the current 8.82% marginal rate), income above $5 million at 10.32%, income over $10 million at 11.32%, and income over $100 million at 11.82% would result in $4.5 billion in additional annual revenue from those of us most able to pay to help our state meet its needs.

Secondly, we support a mark-to-market asset tax on taxpayers with $1 billion or more in assets. Currently, wealthy taxpayers earning income through ownership of assets are taxed on our realized capital gains only upon the sale of those assets – a system that encourages maneuvering to minimize tax liability. A fair tax structure would require determining an asset's current value and requiring asset holders to pay an annual tax on the gain in the value of that asset.

Finally, we believe the state should raise additional revenue by taxing luxury homeowners' unoccupied second, third or fourth residential properties valued at over $5 million. This is a small step forward.

As wealthy New Yorkers in the top 1% of income and/or assets in the state, we have both contributed to and benefited from the vibrancy of our state. Our standard of living will not be diminished by being asked to pay a few more percentage points of tax per year to fund the critical unmet needs of our state. However, if the state fails to ask us to pay our fair share, then the quality of life for all New Yorkers will, in fact, be diminished.

New York's future depends on all of us investing our fair share in taxes.

Sincerely,

[List in formation; letter will include only First and Last Name(s) and City/Town]

  

Note: if the petition form below isn't working, or you'd like to follow up with us in person, contact
Mike Lapham at 617-423-2148 x112 or mlapham@responsiblewealth.org.

 

Will you sign?

Note: By signing this letter as a household in the top 1%, you authorize Responsible Wealth/UFE to publicly list you as a signer of this letter. Only names and city/town will be listed on the letter.