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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the community of Ogdensburg, New York
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Tallying the millionaires: 30 in Jeff, St. Lawrence


Gannett's Albany bureau has a nice story on the decline of millionaires in New York, and the Times-Union has a nifty spreadsheet on where they live.
The conclusion; There are 30 millionaires, total, in Jefferson (18) and St. Lawrence (12) counties. Zero millionaires live in Lewis County.
In Jefferson County, 70 people have an adjusted gross income between $500,000 and $1 million. In St. Lawrence, it's 38, and in Lewis, it's 10.
It's hard to answer this question, though: "How many people would be affected if the Bush tax cuts expired, as Rep. Bill Owens wants?" because adjusted gross income is lower than taxable income. Mr. Owens said he'd be open to letting the Bush tax cuts expire for those whose taxable income is more than $500,000. But surely there are people who make more than $500,000 in adjusted gross income, but would still not be affected because their taxable income is lower.
But this is still a fairly decent approximation, and Mr. Owens' office uses the fact that there are few to bolster the argument for letting parts of the Bush tax cuts expire.
Mr. Owens' opponent, Republican Matt Doheny, disagrees.
"To go back to the 2000, 2001 level, is going to have an even more negative impact on the economy," Mr. Doheny told me when he announced his candidacy in late September.
Mr. Doheny said that raising taxes — and he believes that letting the cuts expire would be raising taxes, unlike Mr. Owens, who believes that they're just an expiration — is a "method of punishing people for taking risks."
"I don't think our current congressman understands it, and I don't think our president does, as well," Mr. Doheny said.
This debate is also playing out on the state level, but it ain't gonna happen there. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, does not support keeping the millionaires' tax, which will soon end. Republican Sens. Joe Griffo and Patty Ritchie and Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush agree with the governor; Assemblywoman Addie Russell believes that the tax should be continued, albeit with a higher income threshold than it has now. On the state level, the discussion will fill up campaign agendas and the idea will probably sail right through the Assembly, but it won't get past the Senate or, even if the snowball survives a few seconds in Hell, the governor's veto pen.

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