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Lhota Takes Jobs Plan On The Road

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Democratic candidate for Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to tax the wealthy, but much of the jobs plan of his Republican rival, Joseph Lhota, which was released Friday, calls for the opposite: tax cuts. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.

Joseph Lhota took his jobs plan on the road Friday.

Five-and-a-half weeks before Election Day, Lhota is just now releasing his plan to create jobs.

"What can we do to get these businesses to hire more people?" he said. "Hiring more people is the goal."

The centerpiece is lowering taxes and reviewing fines for small businesses, proposals he highlighted by visiting some of them in Jackson Heights.

"We need people to park. We need to walk around. They're killing the parking," one business owner said to Lhota.

Lhota's plan goes beyond mom and pop stores, though. He supports decreasing the hotel tax, retooling property assessments to lower property taxes, restructuring small business taxes and reviewing every fee and fine issued by the city.

"They look at small businesses like an ATM machine, and they're using small businesses as a way to balance the budget," Lhota said. "We should never, ever be using fines to balance the budget."

Lhota's Democratic rival, Bill de Blasio, did not have much of a response to his plan.

"I've said consistently that I think, to be responsible in a tough fiscal environment, that I think property tax should stay just where it is," de Blasio said. "But I haven't seen the details of his plan."

A spokesman, though, later called it "typical," cutting taxes instead of investing in everyday New Yorkers.

Lhota said that it's de Blasio's record at the City Council that hurts small businesses.

"Fines, which I was just talking about, he voted to increase them 87 percent," Lhota said. "It's clear to New Yorkers that they cannot afford Bill de Blasio."

Lhota called the economy still fragile. So the question becomes, can the city afford to lower taxes? Lhota said it can, because the city has a spending problem, not a revenue one.

Nonetheless, his plan calls for its own investments, like creating a tech campus in every borough. Lhota said he would start with Staten Island.

Meanwhile, de Blasio is once again answering questions about his time in Nicaragua.

Appearing on NY1 Noticias Friday, de Blasio addressed income inequality and his plan to tax the wealthy to fund universal pre-kindergarten.

However, the conversation soon turned from his vision of the future to his work in the past.

De Blasio once again had to answer questions about the time he spent in Nicaragua in the '80s and how his experience in the Central American country shaped his political views.

"There was a humanitarian effort. It was an effort to bring medicines, clothing, food to the people of Nicaragua who were really suffering, and they were suffering in large measure because of U.S. policies that I think were really the wrong policies and unfair to the people of Central America," de Blasio said. "I got involved in that effort as part of a belief that we had to change those policies, but the humanitarian work was so important in and of itself."

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