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Majority of New Yorkers support increasing taxes on those making more than $1 million a year: poll

Local New York

NY Daily News


Glenn Blain, DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU

ALBANY - At least one Occupy Wall Street message seems to be resonating: New Yorkers overwhelmingly say tax the rich.

A Siena Research Institute Poll released Monday found that 72% of state voters favor increasing taxes on those making more than $1 million a year.

And New Yorkers still wholeheartedly back the tax even after being told it could make the state less attractive to businesses - and ultimately cost jobs.

"A millionaire's tax has support across the spectrum, including 83% of Democrats, 70% of independents and even 55% of Republicans," said Siena spokesman Steven Greenberg.

The poll comes as Assembly Democrats and other supporters lobby to re-instate the state's tax on high incomes, the so-called millionaire's tax, which expires at the end of the year.

Gov. Cuomo opposes extending the tax, saying it would make New York less competitive than neighboring states.

The governor has expressed support for President Obama's plan for a federal millionaire's tax, noting it would apply to all Americans, not just New Yorkers.

Although the Siena poll showed strong support for an extra tax on the wealthy, it also showed 51% of voters favor spending cuts as a tool to close the state's projected $2 billion budget deficit next year.

"It's not a slam dunk majority, but it's clear that more New Yorkers would prefer the governor attempt to balance next year's budget by cutting spending rather than raising taxes, despite the overwhelming support for a millionaire's tax," Greenberg said.

Education and health care - the two largest portions of the state's budget - were the least favored areas for cuts, according to the poll. Parks and the state's workforce were the more popular areas for cuts.

Still. 70% of voters believe the governor should suspend plans to lay off 3,500 members of the Public Employees Federation and continue negotiations.

Cuomo announced a tentative deal with union leaders Sunday to put off the layoffs until Nov. 4.

Cuomo's favorability rating remains high at 71%, down a point from last month's Siena poll. His job performance rating edged to 58%, up from 55%.

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