Thursday, February 26, 2009

More Dems Want 'Fair Share' by Elizabeth Benjamin - The Daily Politics - NY Daily News

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As the Senate Democrats prepare to conference the question of tax reform at 6 p.m. this evening, the so-called Fair Share bill being pushed by the WFP and its labor allies is gaining steam in both houses of the Legislature.

In the Senate, two more Democrats - Tom Duane and Martin Dilan - have signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, bringing the total number of supporters to 20, according to the WFP's Bill Lipton.

An alternative to the millionaire's tax that is being championed by Senate Deputy Majority Leader Jeff Klein has yet to be introduced, but the concept has been endorsed by Columbia University Prof. Michael Woodford.

Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith has made clear he thinks taxing the rich is "the last thing we should be doing," but also left the door open earlier this week to doing so if it's the route his conference wants to take.

In the Assembly, a same-as bill is being carried by Assemblyman Darryl Towns, chairman of the 48-member Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic, and Asian Legislative Caucus.

Towns introduced the bill earlier this week and has garnered the support of 30 of his colleagues.

"It's critically important that we solve the budget crisis through real shared sacrifice," Towns said in a statement relayed to me by a labor supporter of the bill. "Fair Share Tax Reform will make New York's tax code more equitable and will also raise revenue necessary to protect essential services."

Gov. David Paterson, who has been sending mixed signals on the millionaire's tax, recently signaled he's open to overhauling the tax structure.