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New York millionaires ask for their own taxes to be raised to help combat child poverty

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Pile of packs of dollar bills

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Hike our taxes!

That’s what a group of wealthy New Yorkers are telling Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state’s lawmakers. They released a letter Monday urging the passage of the “1% Plan for New York Tax Fairness,” which would replace a millionaire’s tax that expires at the end of 2017.

The plan, drawn up by the liberal Fiscal Policy Institute, would impose new tax rates ranging from 7.65% to 9.99% on those making more than $665,000. That’s the threshold to enter the Top 1% in New York.

The millionaires also want to make permanent the lower rates, ranging from 4% to 6.85%, paid by working families.

The letter says that it’s “shameful” that child poverty and homelessness among families are at record levels in the state. Also, the group points out that many adults don’t have the skills needed to work in a 21st century economy. Lawmakers should invest in public education, pathways out of poverty and infrastructure. Doing so will create new jobs and reduce the “extreme income inequality” in the state.

“As New Yorkers who have contributed to and benefited from the economic vibrancy of our state, we have both the ability and the responsibility to pay for our fair share,” the letter reads. “We can well afford to pay our current taxes, and we can afford to pay even more … Our state’s long-term economic prosperity depends on strong investments in our people and our communities.”

Requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes is at the heart of the campaigns of Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Many of the 51 signers are members of the Responsible Wealth project, a network of more than 700 wealthy Americans who advocate for fair taxes and corporate responsibility. They include: Leo Hindrey, Jr., managing partner of InterMedia Partners, a private equity fund; Abigail Disney, a documentary filmmaker and grand-niece of Walt Disney, and Steven Rockefeller, the great-grandson of the Standard Oil founder and son of former New York governor Nelson Rockefeller.

“Those of us in the top 1% of incomes have a particular responsibility to contribute to the public sector at a higher marginal tax rate than everyone else,” said Lewis Cullman, who engineered the first leveraged buyout in 1964 and developed At-A-Glance calendars, in a statement.