Real estate titans Steven Roth and Stephen Ross were visited by around 200 demonstrators at their Hamptons estates Thursday, according to Business Insider. The protesters demanded Gov. Andrew Cuomo raise taxes on the East End’s ultra-wealthy inhabitants — and others across the state — instead of cutting services to close the state’s enormous budget deficit.
It’s at least the second such demonstration this month over cuts to the state budget that are inevitable absent a federal aid package. Some wealthy Hamptonites have hired private security to patrol their properties in response. Ross, chairman of Related Companies, was among those visited last time around. Roth leads Vornado Realty Trust.
A state Senate bill introduced this year would create a top state income-tax rate of 11.82% for taxpayers whose New York taxable income exceeds $100 million and establish new brackets below that. The Senate majority leader and Assembly speaker have both endorsed the idea of raising taxes on the wealthy but have not put such a bill on the governor’s desk.
Cuomo has shot down the idea of a state tax on super-wealthy residents, saying it would drive them out of New York, although local tax authorities can make that difficult. But Cuomo and the legislature have repeatedly renewed a millionaire’s tax passed in 2009 in response to the financial crisis. It now raises about $4.5 billion annually. The tax was extended for five years in 2019, maintaining the state’s top income-tax rate at 8.82 percent through 2024. The number of billionaires in New York has grown over that time. [Business Insider] — Dennis Lynch