Aaron Elstein: Trump qualified for a tax break for New Yorkers making $500K or less

Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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6 Responses

  1. dragonfrog says:

    So in New York, an income below half a million puts you in line for means-tested poverty relief tax breaks. They’re still using US dollars in New York, right? Didn’t switch to Jamaican dollars and I missed it?Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to dragonfrog says:

      It makes more sense if you think of it as an extra little fish-you tax to people making more than $500,000 per year. Think of it like federal tax brackets. The 39.6% tax rate doesn’t kick in until you make more than $413,200. So are the 4.6-percentage-point savings in the $411,501-to-$413,200 (really?) bracket and the 6.6-point savings in the $189,301-to-$411,500 bracket a “means-tested poverty relief tax break” for people making up to $413,200 and $411,500? No, it’s just that the 39.6% bracket is there as an extra fish-you to people making more than that.

      Also, incomes of people who make most/all of their income from investments tend to be highly volatile. I don’t see anything even remotely interesting about Trump or any other very wealthy person making less than $500,000 in one particular year. The “poorest” people in the world as measured by income in any given year are rich people whose investments had a bad year. Anyone can have zero income, but you have to be rich to have income in the negative millions of dollars.Report

    • Kolohe in reply to dragonfrog says:

      It’s all kinds of goofy because NYC property taxes for schools are implemented a bit differently than most of the rest of the state, so residents of the five boroughs only see about 300 dollars for the basic (about 600 bucks for the enhanced, whose income cutoff is around 85K), while those in, for example, Westchester see typically between 1-2K for basic and 3-4K for enhanced. (which is a much larger percentage of their overall property tax bill)Report

  2. Kazzy says:

    As I understand it — and as someone who received a STAR exemption for I believe over $1000/year — the intent of the program was to help offset large increases in school taxes. They didn’t want to price people out of their homes because of rapidly increasing school taxes.

    I don’t know how it actually works in practice and what incentives it creates — good, bad, or otherwise — but that is my understanding of its purpose.Report

  3. Damon says:

    Rich folks have “guys” who “manage” their income vs investments. Don’t know why this is news.Report

  4. gingergene says:

    IANA CPA, but aren’t there clever accounting tricks that keep your income low while still allowing you access to the sort of money that qualifies you as “filthy rich”? Like being paid in stock options, or having most of your expenses paid by the company you own?

    (Confession: I thought of this because I remember an episode of Cheers where Sam bets the millionaire dating Kirstie Alley’s character a year’s income on a game of chess, and then he manages to win. The punchline of the episode is that for tax reasons, the guy pays himself 1 penny per year. So as you can see, I’ve done a lot of research on this topic.)Report