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What's It Take To Be In The Top One Percent?

October 22, 2018 - 11:35 am
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- What does it take to be in the elite one percent? The numbers may surprise you.

Greg David of Crain's joined WCBS 880 morning news anchor Paul Murnane on Monday to go over some of the numbers.

Murnane: New York's top earners had to earn more over the past nine years to stay in the one percent. You may be surprised by the rest of the bunch, however, near the top of the pay pyramid. Crain's Greg David is here with a look at some numbers and a surprise for those who would want to be in say the top 10 percent around New York right.?

David: Right, you know to be in the top 10 percent in New York City you have to make $132,000. I think a lot of people would think 'Oh, for New York that's not very much,' but that's the number for the top 10 percent. If you want to be in the top one percent you have to make $713,706. That's a lot of money but I think people think the top one percent is composed of like multi-millionaires. It's just composed of millionaires and almost millionaires as well.

Murnane: But to be in that elite one percent you had earned something like 44 percent more since the end of the Great Recession right?

David: Yes and the amount you needed to earn went up a lot and it shows that those people did very well but there's another very interesting fact and that is the total amount of income the top one percent controls barely budged. And what does that tell us? That tells us that the rest of New Yorkers actually did pretty well too. Despite a lot of the the rhetoric you hear there has been significant increases in wages in New York especially in the last few years driven in large part by minimum wage increases but also by the fact we have such a good economy.

Murnane: And it is that top one percent and that top 10 percent that have a big say in how New York pays for things. They're the big taxpayers.

David: Absolutely and we cannot forget that. The top 10 percent pay three quarters of all the city's income tax. The top one percent alone almost half. The top one percent in New York state pay 40 percent of the income tax which is far and away the biggest source of revenue from the state.

Murnane: And New York political figures never get tired of saying that we need to tax the rich more to pay for things.

David: And that's fine unless they decide to leave and then we'll all be in trouble.

Read more on Crain's New York Business