The combined wealth of New York's richest residents increased by more than $156 billion over the last 12 months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, an analysis by progressive advocacy groups found. 

The report comes as lawmakers are weighing potential tax increases on uppper income earners in the state with the budget due to pass by the end of the month. 

The report relied on an analysis fo Forbes Data, assessing a time frame of March 18 of last year to March 17. 

“Millions of New Yorkers are struggling to feed their families and make rent, as the state’s billionaires continue to grow wealthier. While Covid-19 exacerbated New York’s economic crisis, the pandemic did not create these conditions," said Invest In Our New York Campaign Manager Rebecca Bailin. "Over the last decade, Governor Cuomo has used the budget to protect and enrich wealthy New Yorkers — cutting taxes for millionaires, banks, real estate corporations, and even yacht and private jet owners." 

Cuomo this year has introduced a state budget proposal that would increase the tax rate for those who earn $5 million and above. But Democratic lawmakers in the state Legislature have introduced even broader tax increase plans that would raise billions of dollars. 

Cuomo in the past has warned against raising taxes on the richest residents given their mobility and the state's reliance on a small number of tax filers to provide much of its revenue from the personal income tax.