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Only a fraction of the city’s population spends each night in Zuccotti Park as part of the Occupy Wall Street protest, but polls released Monday show a majority of New Yorkers agree with some of the movement’s messages.
“New Yorkers, even Republicans, back the Wall Street protesters on at least two things they’re talking about: a get-tough attitude toward banks and Wall Street and continuation of the state’s millionaire’s tax,” said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which released one of the polls.
The institute polled registered voters to find that New York City supported the millionaire’s tax by a 61-28 margin.
The millionaire’s tax is actually a tax on anyone in the state making $250,000 or more and it is set to expire at the end of the year. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo has publicly said that he will not seek to renew the tax despite wide public support.
“The fact that everyone wants it, that doesn’t mean all that much,” he told reporters recently. “I respect the people, their opinion matters, but I’m not going to go back and forth with the political winds.”
Cuomo said he supports a millionaire’s tax on a federal level.
But even New York City Republicans supported an extension of the tax 55-38 margin, the poll said.
Another poll conducted by The Siena Research Institute showed even broader support for increasing taxes on the wealthy, with 72 percent of registered voters in favor of increasing taxes on individuals making $1 million or more.
“A millionaire’s tax has support across the spectrum, including 83 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of independents and even 55 percent of Republicans,” said Siena College’s Steven Greenberg. “It is supported by three-quarters of New Yorkers earning less than $50,000 per year and two-thirds of those earning more than $100,000.”
But the poll also revealed that a majority of voters would rather see the state government cut spending than raise taxes to close the projected budget gap for next year.
Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4566.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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