As Mayor de Blasio's millionaire's tax seems to be quietly placed on the back burner, Gov. Cuomo is talking loudly about slashing property taxes outside of the five boroughs.
Appearing in Utica on Tuesday and Rockland County yesterday, Cuomo ripped municipalities that were closing their budget gap by going after homeowners.
"Raise taxes. Raise taxes. Until when? Until you have the highest property taxes in the United States of America," Cuomo said.
It's not hard to connect the dots all the way to the de Blasio administration's plans about raising the income tax – but Cuomo spared the mayor a direct hit by focusing on property taxes, something the mayor hasn't talked about touching in his current budget proposal.
While the governor's budget has had some nice election-year swag for upstate and the suburbs, he had to hasten to add something for city residents – a one-time tax credit of up to $300 for renters. And Staten Island commuters will soon be getting a discount on the toll over the Verrazano Bridge.
It's all very reminiscent of rebate checks that Long Island and Rockaway residents received from their utility company after a state takeover in 1998 or annual rebate checks sent to homeowners by the Bloomberg administration starting in 2004. In a political coincidence, Gov. Pataki was up for re-election in 1998 and Mayor Bloomberg was running for a second term in 2005.
The only group that seems to be excluded from the current governor's lovefest is city homeowners. But perhaps a few well-placed lawn signs for Republican Rob Astorino could get them a check in the mail as well. We have until November.