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State Assembly Speaker says Millionaire's tax still possible

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a supporter of extending the tax on millionaires, says he believes his side can “ultimately” prevail.

Speaker Silver, whose Democratic Majority Conference wants to see the temporary income tax surcharge on the rich renewed when it expires December 31st, says he has not given up on his point of view prevailing in the upcoming debate over the new state budget.

 “Ultimately, after several months of debate, I think that we and the public can win that discussion,” said Silver.

Polls consistently show that the majority of New Yorkers want to keep the tax on millionaires.

Silver says  he won’t hold up the budget over the issue, though, saying he’s not “drawing a line in the sand” . The Speaker says there’s a more than 2 billion dollar budget deficit, and a commitment to increase education and health care spending next year, and he predicts that opponents will eventually conclude the best way to help finance that is to continue to tax the rich.

Governor Cuomo says he remains against renewing the millionaires tax, but Silver says he won’t fault the governor if he were to change his mind.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.