Republican mayoral candidate Joseph Lhota has slammed Bill de Blasio for his plan to tax the wealthy, saying it's dead on arrival, but the former budget director's campaign does not have concrete plans for how they will pay for his own tax proposal. NY1's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
It's become a central theme of Joseph Lhota's campaign for mayor: Lower taxes, rein in spending. That will create jobs.
"We absolutely need to put the government, spending of the budget of the City of New York on a diet," Lhota said on CNBC Friday "I did it as budget director. I'll do it again."
He said it's the major difference between him and his rival.
"He has raised fees, taxes, spending in the city of New York like a drunken sailor would," Lhota said.
A week ago, Lhota released his jobs plan, promising tax cuts for businesses.
"There were 23 or 24 separate tax cuts during the Giuliani administration," he said on September 27. "I'd love to be able to equal that record."
But campaign officials have not done any economic analysis on how much the plan would cost. They say any tax cut would be phased in.
They could not provide NY1 with a concrete timeline.
Figures provided by the Independent Budget Office show that just three of the taxes Lhota has targeted bring in more than $2.5 billion of revenue every year.
"Before you can think about cutting taxes, you have to come up with a simple tax cut plan, one that people can grasp and understand, and also figure out what are you going to cut out of the budget," said Nicole Gelinas of the Manhattan Institute.
Lhota did not name specifics on Friday about where budget savings would occur to cover the cost of his tax cuts.
"We've got increases in expected expenditures in the four-year plan that are so far above the rate of inflation. We need to get that down," he said. "That's not cutting. That's just making the government live within its means."
The Lhota campaign contends that they cannot put a price tag on his tax cut plan, and they promise to take a closer look at the books if Lhota is elected. Nonetheless, Lhota was defending the proposal Friday at a jobs fair in Chelsea.
"You know, we're not talking about billions of dollars worth of cuts. We're talking about phaseouts and lifting of thresholds," he said.
Specifics, along with those jobs? They say that comes later.