Declining Wall Street revenues mean New York state is having to look elsewhere.
Declining Wall Street revenues mean New York state is having to look elsewhere.

Tax hikes may spark flight of millionaires

NEW YORK // The millionaires of New York have gone to battle. On one side are Donald Trump, the property mogul, and Rush Limbaugh, the right wing radio talk show host, who have threatened to quit the city over higher taxes. On the other is a group of top earners who actually want the state to force them to help the have-nots. New York, like the rest of the country, is trying to balance shrinking revenues with increasing welfare demands as the recession bites into every facet of US life. A so-called "millionaire's tax", part of the new US$131 billion (Dh480bn) state budget, is being closely watched by other states also grappling with tight finances. David Paterson, the state's Democratic governor, wants to raise the marginal tax rate from next year to 7.85 per cent for three years for single filers who earn more than $200,000 and for couples who earn more than $300,000. The rate would increase to 8.97 per cent for those earning more than $500,000. Right wing critics point out these figures fall far short of $1 million incomes and create additional burdens on the middle-class, not just the superwealthy. Mr Trump said the rich would flee and that he was looking at Florida, which has no income tax and raises revenue from property sales, also hard hit over the last year. "A huge percentage of New York City taxes come from the people that will be fleeing New York. And you just can't do it. It is a horrible thing," he told Fox television this week. "I have spoken to literally 25 to 30 people that are now either leaving or going to consider leaving. It is a foolish and in fact very stupid thing [the state is] doing." When Mr Paterson heard Mr Limbaugh, an influential conservative, wanted to quit the city, the governor said: "If I knew that would be the result, I would've thought about the taxes earlier." Mr Paterson was urged on his tax-raising mission by more than 80 wealthy New Yorkers, who sent a letter last month asking him to boost their state income taxes. "I've been pretty lucky and I've always felt that a disproportionate share of the tax burden falls on lower-income people," said Chet Opalka, a philanthropist and founder of a biotech company, who signed the letter along with groups such as Responsible Wealth, New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness and the Fiscal Policy Institute. "In these times, it's important for the haves to take care of the have-nots." California and Maryland have already made its top earners pay more in tax. Other states under pressure to consider similar moves include Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and Wisconsin. "Many states look to New York as an example of what to do," said Dan Levitan, a spokesman for the progressive Working Families Party, which welcomed Mr Paterson's budget. "They could have done more in the budget and it's far from perfect, but we were able to prevent the worst cuts to health and education. It's a step towards fairness and provides relief for people who go to a hospital, public school or library." He dismissed as "political grandstanding" the threats to leave New York City by Mr Trump and Mr Limbaugh. "Most people don't move when an extra couple of hundred dollars are going to hospitals and teachers." Studies have failed to offer much evidence that tax hikes spark any significant flight of millionaires, although there is concern about a "brain drain" because businesses and entrepreneurs might be more adversely affected. A Princeton University study on tax increases imposed in 2004 by New Jersey saw 350 existing "half-millionaire" households leave out of a total of 44,000 such households. New York was paying the price for its reliance on Wall Street revenues, which have dramatically dropped in the last year but would get back on track eventually, said Justin Phillips, a political-science professor at Columbia University. "It's best to compare New York with California or Massachusetts, states that offer similar cultural amenities and the most competition, which are also looking at higher taxes because of the need to come up with additional revenue," he said. "New York will be OK as long as its taxes don't end up a lot higher than elsewhere." Voters have yet to be convinced, however. Some 60 per cent of New Yorkers disapproved of the new budget, according to a Quinnipiac University poll this week. Another 65 per cent said Mr Paterson had not shown political courage in making difficult decisions in the budget, which was reliant on several billion dollars in federal stimulus cash. Most observers expect the budget's numbers to be redrafted over the course of the year. Mr Paterson faces an election next year while Michael Bloomberg - who will also see his tax bill rise - faces the polls this summer when he seeks a third term as New York City mayor. Both men are closely tracking public opinion and they might be heartened by the New York Post's assessment that Mr Trump was unlikely to move anywhere soon. "If you believe that he'd really move his empire and, more importantly, his board room to Palm Beach, then you probably believe his hair is naturally orange," the tabloid said.


Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Dengue fever symptoms

High fever (40°C/104°F)
Severe headache
Pain behind the eyes
Muscle and joint pains
Swollen glands

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

What is graphene?

Graphene is a single layer of carbon atoms arranged like honeycomb.

It was discovered in 2004, when Russian-born Manchester scientists Andrei Geim and Kostya Novoselov were "playing about" with sticky tape and graphite - the material used as "lead" in pencils.

Placing the tape on the graphite and peeling it, they managed to rip off thin flakes of carbon. In the beginning they got flakes consisting of many layers of graphene. But as they repeated the process many times, the flakes got thinner.

By separating the graphite fragments repeatedly, they managed to create flakes that were just one atom thick. Their experiment had led to graphene being isolated for the very first time.

At the time, many believed it was impossible for such thin crystalline materials to be stable. But examined under a microscope, the material remained stable, and when tested was found to have incredible properties.

It is many times times stronger than steel, yet incredibly lightweight and flexible. It is electrically and thermally conductive but also transparent. The world's first 2D material, it is one million times thinner than the diameter of a single human hair.

But the 'sticky tape' method would not work on an industrial scale. Since then, scientists have been working on manufacturing graphene, to make use of its incredible properties.

In 2010, Geim and Novoselov were awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics. Their discovery meant physicists could study a new class of two-dimensional materials with unique properties. 


The specs

Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 666hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 850Nm at 2,300-4,500rpm
Transmission: 8-speed auto
On sale: Q1 2023
Price: from Dh1.15 million (estimate)


Director: Laxman Utekar

Producer: Maddock Films, Jio Cinema

Cast: Kartik Aaryan, Kriti Sanon​​​​​​​, Pankaj Tripathi, Vinay Pathak, Aparshakti Khurana

Rating: 3/5

World Cricket League Division 2

In Windhoek, Namibia - Top two teams qualify for the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe, which starts on March 4.

UAE fixtures

Thursday, February 8 v Kenya; Friday, February 9 v Canada; Sunday, February 11 v Nepal; Monday, February 12 v Oman; Wednesday, February 14 v Namibia; Thursday, February 15 final


Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

UAE rugby in numbers

5 - Year sponsorship deal between Hesco and Jebel Ali Dragons

700 - Dubai Hurricanes had more than 700 playing members last season between their mini and youth, men's and women's teams

Dh600,000 - Dubai Exiles' budget for pitch and court hire next season, for their rugby, netball and cricket teams

Dh1.8m - Dubai Hurricanes' overall budget for next season

Dh2.8m - Dubai Exiles’ overall budget for next season


Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices


Display: Main – 6.7" FHD+ Dynamic Amoled 2X, 2640 x 1080, 22:9, 425ppi, HDR10+, up to 120Hz; cover – 3/4" Super Amoled, 720 x 748, 306ppi

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, 4nm, octa-core; Adreno 740 GPU

Memory: 8GB

Capacity: 256/512GB

Platform: Android 13, One UI 5.1.1

Main camera: Dual 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2) + 12MP wide (f/1.8), OIS

Video: 4K@30/60fps, full-HD@60/240fps, HD@960fps

Front camera: 10MP (f/2.2)

Battery: 3700mAh, 25W fast charging, 15W wireless, 4.5W reverse wireless

Connectivity: 5G; Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Samsung Pay)


Cards: Nano-SIM + eSIM; no microSD slot

Colours: Cream, graphite, lavender, mint; exclusives – blue, grey, green, yellow

In the box: Flip 4, USB-C-to-USB-C cable

Price: Dh3,899 / Dh4,349

In-demand jobs and monthly salaries
  • Technology expert in robotics and automation: Dh20,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Energy engineer: Dh25,000 to Dh30,000 
  • Production engineer: Dh30,000 to Dh40,000 
  • Data-driven supply chain management professional: Dh30,000 to Dh50,000 
  • HR leader: Dh40,000 to Dh60,000 
  • Engineering leader: Dh30,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Project manager: Dh55,000 to Dh65,000 
  • Senior reservoir engineer: Dh40,000 to Dh55,000 
  • Senior drilling engineer: Dh38,000 to Dh46,000 
  • Senior process engineer: Dh28,000 to Dh38,000 
  • Senior maintenance engineer: Dh22,000 to Dh34,000 
  • Field engineer: Dh6,500 to Dh7,500
  • Field supervisor: Dh9,000 to Dh12,000
  • Field operator: Dh5,000 to Dh7,000

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

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