Victory for OWS: Governor Cuomo Taxes the Rich and Eases the Burden of the Middle Class

Just months after Occupy Wall St.'s inception, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and critic of New York's "millionaire's tax" announced on Tuesday an agreement with legislators that adds $1.9 billion to the state's revenue and drops the middle class tax rate to its lowest in 58 years. Those Occupy kids never get anything done, do they?

According to the New York Times:

The state’s current income tax rates are relatively flat, taxing any individuals who earn $20,000 or more, as well as couples who earn $40,000 or more and file joint tax returns, at the same 6.85 percent rate.

For the last three years, individuals who earned more than $200,000 a year, and couples who earned more than $300,000, have also been subjected to a tax surcharge called a “millionaires’ tax.”

Under the proposal announced Tuesday, for married couples filing jointly, income from $40,000 to $150,000 would be taxed at 6.45 pecent; from $150,000 to $300,000 at 6.65 percent; from $300,000 to $2 million at 6.85 percent, and over $2 million at 8.82 percent.

Changing the tax rates and brackets would allow the state to replace some, but not all, of the revenue to be lost when the so-called millionaires’ tax expires on Dec. 31.

With labor unions, fellow Democrats, and the Occupy Wall St. movement criticizing Cuomo for favoring the rich, it is  hard, and maybe even naive, to believe that a new narrative focused on  income inequality had nothing to do with Cuomo's change in tax policy. In fact, even the New York Times credited OWS (among Democrats and labor) with Cuomo's policy reversal. 

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at December 6, 2011, 9:57am

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