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New York Post

A dozen ‘tax the rich’ activists arrested in Albany ahead of budget deadline

By Zach Williams,


A dozen “tax the rich” activists were arrested in the state Capitol Monday evening as the political left pushes for Albany Democrats to support higher taxes on the wealthy ahead of the April 1 budget deadline.

“I don’t care if the governor is saying that she doesn’t want to raise taxes on her rich donors,” said state Sen. Jabari Brisport (D-Brooklyn), who was not arrested.

“We will be forcing her to raise taxes on our rich donors to fund things for the working class this year.”

Activists were aiming to stay overnight in the historic War Room near the governor’s office that features murals of New York’s martial history for the third year in a row – at least until state troopers began rounding many of them up after giving them several orders to disperse.

Police planned to release the dozen “tax the rich” supporters after giving them desk appearance tickets.

The arrests come amid friction between the relatively centrist governor and legislative leaders over taxes as she, state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) hash out a final spending plan.
A dozen “tax the rich” activists were arrested in the New York state Capitol on March 27, 2023.
Zach Williams

Both legislative chambers officially backed the idea of increasing income taxes on people making more than $5 million per year in the budget resolutions passed by their Democratic supermajorities earlier this month.

Progressives are also pushing to increase taxes on the wealthy in other ways as well through outstanding legislation to overhaul inheritance taxes, imposing a surcharge on capital gains exceeding $500,000 per year and codifying a corporate tax increase approved in 2021 before its sunsets this year.

Proponents say such measures could help the beleaguered MTA while also funding increases in social spending.
The protest comes as progressives in Albany push for higher taxes on the wealthy ahead of the April 1 budget deadline.
Zach Williams

But Hochul, who has faced criticism over her political fundraising from billionaires, has resisted such proposals while pushing her own plan to increase a payroll tax on commuters and make New York City contribute $500 million per year to public transit.

Some critics of tax increases have noted that state coffers are disproportionately stuffed by revenues from wealthy people who could move to other states along with their tax dollars if progressives succeed in raising taxes more.

The governor, whose proposed $227 billion would be a record-high amount if approved, is pushing for billions less in overall spending compared to the Legislature.
A protestor holding a sign criticizing Gov. Kathy Hochul for taking donations from billionaires.
Zach Williams

A Hochul spokeswoman did not provide immediate comment Monday evening on the arrests.

“It’s a well-known fact that negotiations happen in the dead of night. The $230 billion budget will impact our members’ daily lives; lawmakers will decide who will thrive and who will continue struggling to make ends meet,” the activists said in a statement following the busts.

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