Democrat New York state lawmakers propose raising taxes to help pay for migrants: ‘Billionaires … do not pay what they owe’

News & Politics

More than a dozen state legislators in New York have suggested imposing a tax increase on the top income earners in the state to help pay for the costs associated with the large influx of migrants.

Former Mayor Ed Koch officially made New York City a sanctuary city nearly 35 years ago, but recently, New York officials, many of whom previously supported New York’s sanctuary status, have sounded the alarm regarding the number of migrants. Back in May, NYC Mayor Eric Adams went to court to ask a judge “to revisit [the sanctuary city] law to deal with this humanitarian crisis.”

Adams has also lately publicly sparred with Gov. Kathy Hochul, also a Democrat, because he wants other areas of the state to help shoulder the burden posed by migrants, which Adams estimates could cost as much as $12 billion over the next three years. “This issue will destroy New York City,” Adams said at a town hall earlier this month.

Thus far, Hochul has refused Adams’ plea to have more migrants dispersed to counties upstate, and now it seems that other NYC Democrats are not necessarily standing in solidarity with Adams either. Instead, they have suggested that the state impose a tax increase on the top 5% of income earners.

“We should increase taxes because it’s economically just policy to offset all costs for our state to function,” said state Sen. Julia Salazar (D-Brooklyn).

“I’d say that even if our city and state hadn’t seen an increase in migrants seeking asylum, this moment makes it all the more important for the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes,” Salazar continued.

Salazar is far from the only Democrat seemingly capitalizing on the migrant crisis to try to eat the rich. State Sen. Jabari Brisport, another Democrat from Brooklyn, expressed a similar outlook. “I would absolutely be over the moon if they call back a special session to raise taxes on the rich,” Brisport told Fox 5 New York.

“New York is the most unequal state with the most billionaires in it, and they do not pay what they owe to the rest of us in New York,” he added. “So raising their taxes [could] fund social services for all New Yorkers.”

Brisport ostensibly includes migrants among “all New Yorkers” as he and 19 other state lawmakers — whom news outlets have characterized as “socialist,” “left-wing,” and “progressive” — wrote a letter slamming the current response to the migrants and announcing their tax increase proposal.

NYC migrant crisis: State lawmakers pitch tax hike

Assemblywoman Jessica González-Rojas, a Democrat from Queens, appears to support a tax increase on wealthy citizens as well. “A reminder: This is a choice. We are cutting services for New Yorkers when we could #TaxTheRich. Don’t blame migrants for lack of leadership,” said a statement from her chief of staff, Brian Romero.

Despite the strong support from fellow Democrats for higher taxes on American citizens and legal residents, Gov. Hochul seems unlikely to sign such tax increases into law any time soon. “Governor Hochul passed two balanced budgets without raising income taxes, and intends to do the same for Fiscal Year 2025,” said her spokesperson, Avi Small.

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