2:55 pm Oct. 11, 2012
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said she agreed "with the sentiment" of raising taxes on high-income earners expressed by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
("People who can afford more money should pay more money," Silver said, at a rally in Manhattan on Wednesday.)
At a press conference today, I asked Quinn her thoughts on Silver's position.
"I agree with [the] sentiment of Speaker Silver," Quinn said. "If we need a tax increase to deal with deficits, then he's right. The way to do that would be to look at a progressive tax that focuses on one way or the other on people of higher income. As we move into the negotiation process for next year, as I have said before and said earlier this week, I want to make sure we leave those options for taxes that affect people of higher income on the table for negotiations and discussions."
Quinn also sad, "Given the real potential that we're going to have major deficits next year, there's a real likelihood we're going to have to look at ways to generate additional revenue. If that's the case, we have to do it in the most progressive way possible, which means asking people who have more to give more. And certainly we want to make sure people who have less are paying less."
Quinn's comments today should give her some more breathing room with advocates who want to see her raise taxes on high earners in order to increase government spending on social welfare programs.
Michael Howard Saul of the Wall Street Journal asked whether Quinn thought the city's tax structure needed to be made "more fair," prefacing the question by noting that Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, a possible mayoral rival to Quinn in next year's race, laid out a revenue-neutral tax plan that make the city's tax code more progressive.
Quinn said the conversations "we may have to have next year" are about "how do we bring in new revenue in addition to ones of tax fairness."