Our likely mayor, Eric Adams, has been making the rounds lately, telling small groups of wealthy businesspeople how dangerous it is to have so few New Yorkers paying so much of the city’s taxes. He says he’s trying to convince his fellow progressive Democrats to stop penalizing the rich before he loses his entire tax base to Florida.
Give Adams credit for recognizing that rich people employ the working class, pay for the stuff we provide the poor and will always find ways to avoid higher taxes — like leaving NYC.
Give him no credit for being so delusional that he thinks for a nanosecond the lefties in Albany and the City Council as well as people like AOC, Bernie Sanders or President Uncle Joe Biden in Washington are listening to a word he’s saying.
The diss to Adams is unfolding before our eyes on a daily basis, with Democrats trying to figure out ways to come up with what’s known as “pay-fors” to finance their efforts to remake the country into a European-style welfare state.
Original largesse of the Dems’ “Build Back Better” spending bonanza clocked in at $5 trillion; President Biden is now saying he can settle for less than $2 trillion. If we’re lucky, maybe rebel Dems like Kyrsten Sinema (D., Ariz.) and Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) will miraculously push it to zero.
Barring that miracle, expect something big coming out of Washington. Adams will then see how much wealthy New Yorkers will be financing many of those pay-fors, and then seeking out Florida real estate.
That’s because the numbers don’t lie: The upper tax bracket — people making $400,000 a year and families, $450,000 — will see their top income-tax rates increase to 39.6 percent from its current level of 37 percent.
That means plenty of New Yorkers who aren’t exactly rich will be paying for the Biden bill.
Even worse, their real rate could be closer to 60 percent and above.
The super-wealthy will get whooped with an additional 10 percent “surtax” on income above $10 million. If they’re earning more than $25 million, they get hit with another 3 percent.
Throw on top of that state and New York City taxes, and you can see how these so-called high earners will be paying an effective tax rate of 60 percent or more.
New Yorker’s tax burdens may be softened if Democrats reinstate the full deduction of state and local taxes from federal levies.
But bringing back the SALT deduction won’t be a slam-dunk, and for many New Yorkers, it might not matter — to make the numbers work, Biden & Co. might have raise other taxes.
Of course, given the incompetence the Biden administration has shown at all levels of government, his spending and tax proposals may remain a fantasy in between licks of his ice-cream cone.
It might also be delayed indefinitely if Sinema and Manchin show any spine. If not, Eric Adams might need to wall off the city and close the airports in order to prevent the people he needs to stay from leaving.
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