Saturday, December 27, 2014

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NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt's daily look Inside City Hall.

NY1 ItCH: A Tale Of Two Tax Plans

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As Bill de Blasio yesterday was talking up his plan to raise taxes on the city's wealthiest residents, Gov. Cuomo had just finished holding a conference call with reporters where he discussed his tax-cutting ideas for 2014.

Cuomo has created a tax relief commission headed by former State Comptroller Carl McCall, a Democrat, and former Gov. Pataki, a Republican who made a swath of tax cuts when he first took office in 1995. While Pataki is already pushing to cut the state's personal income tax, Cuomo is trying to tamp down that talk and focus instead on lowering business and property taxes in the state.

None of this anti-tax sentiment is good news for Mayor-elect de Blasio, who yesterday doubled down on his funding blueprint for universal pre-K, saying that he has no alternative plan besides raising the income tax – a move that must be approved by the state legislature and governor in Albany.

There is a slim reed for de Blasio to embrace; while Cuomo has cut income taxes for most New Yorkers, he increased the rate on those making more than $1 million a year and couples making more than $2 million annually. Of course, de Blasio won't want to point out that Cuomo has increased taxes on the wealthy out of fear of enraging him but it's an argument for his supporters to make.

All of this promises to make January a fascinating month as de Blasio takes office and the legislature reconvenes in Albany. While talking taxes was a linchpin for getting a new mayor elected in New York City, it's a very different political climate across the state. And that's the climate that Andrew Cuomo lives in as he approaches his re-election campaign that's already getting underway.

Bob Hardt

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