To the Editor: It's not the rich we need. It's their money. In Richard Khavkine's report "With Senate Supermajority, Dems Could Push Progressive Agenda," (Dec. 4 issue), he writes that Governor Cuomo claims that taxing billionaires will "push them out of the state."

Khavkine also writes NJ and Connecticut are raising their taxes on the rich. Those two states are the only place New York billionaires would go. New York's 118 billionaires are worth $525.5 billion, according to Forbes. They have nowhere to go where their wealth will not be confiscated. New York is the safest place for a billionaire's money and health, and they're already here.

Leave New York, indeed. A piddling .2 percent (that is two one-thousandths percent) wealth tax would cover the $15 billion shortfall.

Most important: paying people recycles wealth. Returning hoarded wealth to the people makes everyone richer. Property, rents and real estate make billionaires. You don't "earn"' a billion "working"; you get it by "owning" work others do. 

You could also close any budget gap with transaction fees on investments. That would actually tax "earnings."

With his COVID-19 pandemic leadership, Cuomo has made 19 million new friends: New Yorkers. Why forfeit that goodwill by not taxing the rich? Cuomo is threatening to tax New Yorkers who earn less than $70K. Those voters are more likely to leave than the rich. State residency has declined already by 90,000 voters.


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(1) comment


Agreed, the rich can afford a small additional tax. It would help our state greatly.

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