Friday, December 19, 2014

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NY1 leads up to Election Day with a five-part series examining how mayoral candidates Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota differ on the issues.

Where The Candidates Stand
  Bill de Blasio (D) Joe Lhota (R)
MON: SANDY Supports increased local involvement in post-Sandy rebuilding. Supports increased multi-state cooperation in post-Sandy recovery.
TUE: EDUCATION Wants to keep number of charter schools the same and charge them rent. Wants to double the number of charter schools.
WED: ECONOMY Wants to increase income tax on those earning more than $500K/year to pay for pre-K and after school programs, pending Albany's approval. Wants to eliminate capital tax, give tax breaks to developers, and slash city spending.
THU: POLICE Opposes "overuse" of stop-and-frisk, and supports more surveillance cameras and an NYPD Inspector General. Defends stop-and-frisk, and opposes an NYPD Inspector General or federal monitor.
FRI: TRANSIT Supports increase in bus rapid transit and number of speed enforcement cameras, and expansion of CitiBike program. Supports increase in bus rapid transit and Park and Rides, plus expansion of subway to S.I. and city takeover of bridges and tunnels.

The Candidates: De Blasio, Lhota Have Dueling Economic Visions

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Bill de Blasio and Joseph Lhota have major differences when it comes to how to spend your tax dollars, and Part 3 of "The Candidates," NY1's series examining issues in the race for mayor, focuses on dueling economic visions and how they could affect your paycheck. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.

Bill de Blasio and Joseph Lhota talk about your money a lot. Let's see what they plan on doing with it.

We'll start with de Blasio. The centerpiece of his plan is raising income taxes on those earning $500,000 and up. It would go to universal pre-kindergarten and after-school programs.

It faces an uncertain future in Albany, as the state Legislature has to pass it. A big victory on Tuesday could pressure Governor Andrew Cuomo.

"It's absolutely right and fair to ask the wealthiest among us to help us to make our school system work," de Blasio said.

De Blasio says that subsidies, like a deal keeping the retail giant FreshDirect from moving to New Jersey, aren't working.

Let's turn to Lhota. He says that he, too, wants universal pre-k, but he says that he would pay for it with budget savings he hasn't identified. More on that in a moment.

He also says he'd eliminate the tax on business capital. That also requires Albany approval. He supports tax breaks for developers.

He vows to slash city spending, but he's repeatedly vague about where the cuts will be.

"I'm going to make sure that we have people who go into each and every one of the agencies to try and make them more efficient," he said.

There may not be a bigger financial challenge for the next mayor than labor costs. Every municipal union is now working with an expired contract. That's more than 150 separate groups, about 300,000 workers. The question is, what kind of raises, and back pay, can the city afford?

On this, Lhota may be more forthcoming than his rival.

"I think you and all the other teachers, and all the other workers, deserve a raise going forward," he told a teacher.

Lhota says the city can't afford retroactive raises. De Blasio says the city can't afford what all unions want, but won't get specific.

"You don't negotiate in public," he said.

Because many unions didn't support his candidacy in the primary, de Blasio may have some political room to negotiate.

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