Monday, March 26, 2007

Budget Deadline Draws Near

New York is still headed toward a late budget after a weekend of negotiations. From Newsday:
With the state budget due in a week, negotiators for Gov. Eliot Spitzer and the Assembly and Senate majorities failed to reach critical agreements Sunday.

Closed-door talks will continue Monday. All sides agreed a deal will have to be struck early in the week to leave enough time to print budget bills and approve them in both chambers to pass an on-time budget. The budget is due Sunday, April 1.
Education and health care are the main sticking points. Instead of forcing a choice between these two top priorities, we need to expand the debate. 44,000 New York taxpayers have yearly incomes over $1 million. Together, they take in more than New York's entire middle class. It's time for a sane discussion of taxes.

Maria Lisella is one of the people helping start that discussion, with a letter printed in the Sunday "Voice of the People" section of the Daily News:
New York is a wealthy state, but you'd never know it to listen to debates over the state budget. Instead of arguing over education vs. health care, both essential services, there's a better way: For every $500,000 you earn, you're taxed one day's pay (about .4% of your income). Make $1 million, be taxed two days' pay. Lucky enough to make $2.5 million per year? You're taxed a week's salary. We could put in a cap when salary reached $10 million. This plan would let Spitzer make good on property tax reductions and increased school funding and do health care reform right by covering everyone with no exceptions.
Right on.

Write your own letter.

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