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Here's what it takes to join the 1 percent club in New York City

For those who dream of joining the gilded ranks of the top 1 percent of earners in New York City, there’s a new magic number.
Image: Woolworth Building
The cupola of the Woolworth Building seen from the top floor of the 7 World Trade Center, in New York City.Orjan F. Ellingvag / Corbis via Getty Images

The New York City Independent Budget office released a new report this week, giving the world a peek at income tax data filed in 2016 by the city’s wealthiest residents.

For those who dream of joining the gilded ranks of the top 1 percent of earners in New York City, there’s now a new magic number to strive for: $713,706.

Sure, it’s not even close to being enough to purchase one of the 25 most expensive apartments for sale in New York City, but it’s plenty to rent or buy a luxurious apartment, pay for private school tuition and eat at Le Bernardin without thinking twice.

In a city of nearly 9 million people, just 38,002 tax filers are in the 1 percent. To put that in perspective, they could all attend a baseball game at Yankee Stadium and there would still be 16,249 empty seats.

But there's an elite group of even higher earners within the 1 percent, which should come as no surprise, seeing as New York City is home for many celebrities, successful Wall Street money managers and reported billionaire President Donald Trump.

In 2016, 25,230 New Yorkers raked in more than $1,000,000 in wages. Of them, 1,412 made at least $10 million. And good news if you’re single: 177 of them are too, at least according to their filing status in 2016.

But being super wealthy is not all champagne and caviar. Making the big bucks also comes with a higher tax bill. The average personal income tax paid by New York City's 1 percent was $107,153.

However, there is some good news for aspiring one percenters: You can lower the bar, just a little.

The threshold for joining the top 1 percent nationally is $421,926, according to a report from the Economic Policy Institute, which used data from 2015.

It’s still nothing to sneeze at, but perhaps a better metric to aspire to if you’re looking to receive that secret members-only jacket we imagine you receive when you finally join the club.