Cuomo Proposes Tax Cut for Middle Class, Hike for Rich New Yorkers

December 7, 2011 Updated Dec 7, 2011 at 9:24 AM EDT

By John Borsa

December 7, 2011 Updated Dec 7, 2011 at 9:24 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - In a video statement to New Yorkers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state needs extra money to balance the books.

Cuomo and legislative leaders proposed a tax increase on Tuesday, but only for the richest New Yorkers while providing slight tax relief for middle class residents.

"We need to act to improve our economic situation and we need to act now."

For married couples filing jointly, here's a breakdown of the proposed tax rates.

Those earning between $40,000 and $150,000 would see their tax rate drop by nearly a half point to 6.45 percent. $150,000 to $300,000 would be taxed at 6.65 percent, nearly a quarter point decrease. $300,000 to $2 million would be taxed at the current rate of 6.85 percent. The highest earners, with incomes of $2 million and up would see their tax rate jump to 8.82 percent.

For the middle class, the new tax rates would bring roughly $300 to $500 in annual savings.

The hike on the rich would add $2 billion to New York's coffers.

"I am not just treating the symptom, but attacking the illness. I'm not just trying to balance a budget, but I'm trying to grow our economy," said Cuomo who also outlined a plan to improve New York's roads and bridges and creating jobs in the process.