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The Call Blog: Mayor De Blasio Says Albany Inaction On Pre-K Is "Deeply Disturbing"

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It seems many of de Blasio's proposals have a common theme in them: asking Albany for approval. And judging by the look of things, it's not an easy task. At some point, the new Mayor has to give up on things he could fight for if he had a chance, and focus on what he can fight for with the power he already has. After all, he is in a position where he can finally make a lot of things happen for this City.



With his signature campaign issue in jeopardy, Mayor de Blasio sharply criticized the top Republican in Albany today for threatening to block his pre-Kindergarten tax hike plan. De Blasio said he was surprised and "miffed" to learn State Senate co-leader Dean Skelos wouldn't bring the idea to the chamber floor for a vote. Speaking with black clergy leaders in Brooklyn, the mayor said "not allowing a vote is unacceptable."

Governor Cuomo has proposed paying for pre-K statewide with existing tax dollars. But Mayor de Blasio wants to raise taxes on New York City residents who make more than $500,000 to secure a designated revenue stream for the program. In front of the City Council today, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña testified in favor of the plan, saying "a small tax increase will allow an enormous investment in the future of our City." What do you say?

Should Albany lawmakers vote on Mayor de Blasio's plan to fund pre-Kindergarten by raising taxes on the rich? What's your reaction to de Blasio saying Albany is "denying us our rights in a democracy" by not addressing his plan? Do you support a tax hike on the rich or should existing tax dollars be used?

Send your thoughts using the link above.



Why should anyone be taxed to pay for the education of someone else's children? If you had them, you should pay for them.

Joe
Port Richmond



For starters, Mr. De Blasio knew full well during the campaign that this would be the obstacle to overcome -- and given the history of the State Senate's (or the State Assembly's) refusal to vote on various New York City-related matters over the decades, his outrage seems disingenuous, to say the least. And Senator Skelos is 100% correct in his analysis, that the State Constitution gives the legislature control over matters of income tax, including local income taxes -- Mr. De Blasio should work on amending the State Constitution, rather than building up people's hopes by encouraging empty and useless protests in Albany.


Bruce
Upper West Side



I don’t support the pre-k because this Mayor is being very obnoxious about not getting
his way. Before he promised the sun the moon and the stars in his campaigning
he should have though about this situation. We all can’t have what we want and
especially at someone else’s expense. Before they even go another step they have to
make sure that all of these babies understand English. Otherwise we will be back
to the same situation we are in now. What happens to all of these children without
pre-k? Do the parents/guardian pay baby sitters? My reason for asking is why can’t
they pay for this pre-k or at least half of it? The children belong to someone I’m sure.
One can’t just keep having children and then demand that someone else pick up the
tab.
Also because it sounds like a lot of money being $500,000 or more but we have no
idea just what expenses they have.
This DeBlasio is playing the blame game.
DeBlasio should think before he speaks about people infringing on our rights since he
does a good job doing the same by making demands to raise taxes on certain
citizens that are already over taxed.

Promises, Promises doesn’t really work.

Maxxiee
Morris Park


I didn't vote for de Blasio because I wanted a bunch of small-town bigshots from upstate to continue to tell New York City how to manage its affairs!

Ellie
Turtle Bay



I am really happy with Blasios
Stance on the tax hike for universal prek..it seems he is the only politician fighting for the average person..Obama stood idly by will welfare was cut Bloom berg and Christie never wanted to tax the rich ..go Bill Deblasio

I think De Blasios plan is appropriate and fair it is about time that'll the rich pay there fair share..Bloom berg and Christie wouldn't take this stance and neither would Obama..

NAS
Educator from The Bronx



I absolutely believe raising the taxes on people who can afford to spare some change is a GREAT idea. We are coming apart from at the seams. It would be nice to see us as brothers and sisters come together to help create a positive environment for our children.

B
Bay Ridge



I would be more impressed with this mayor if he actually tried to
partner with some of these millionaires that he is seeking to penalize
and get the same amount of funding from philanthropic donations.
Look at how much Corey Booker got from Mark Zuckerberg for
Newark's schools--$100M.
But instead, he's pandering to his fanbase, and surreptitiously seeking
a way to pay for patronage jobs like the $170K chief of staff for his
wife (who has no staff!).

Bruce
Upper East Side



We should use any existing taxes to pay for the New York City Pre-K Program and not tax the rich. If Mayor DiBlasio is so gung ho about the Pre-K Program in New York City, he should write a check for the first million dollars for it!! Why doesn't Governor Cuomo just increase the "take" from the parimutuel New York State Lottery programs to fund the Pre-K programs across New York State. Has this never been considered? I thought that this was what the purpose of the New York State Lottery was for!!

Gary
Flushing



Does DeBlasio want pre-k or the power to tax? What would constitute residency in NYC anyway? How many days a year?

Jack B.



The GOPcrats will not bring it to the floor because they don't care about UPK and I think DeBlasio is being bamboozled by the Gov who might be an undercover Republican since he is always siding with GOPcrats that do not want to the rich to be taxed more.

Tony
Albany



I voted for DeBlasio but when I see him posing with a disreputable race baiter like Al Sharpton by his side, I’ve lost respect for the man.

Ben
Brooklyn Heights



Mayor Deblasio playing robin hood to pay for a year of free daycare . How much ? and from whom will he take from next, the middle class?

Ed
Riverdale



I believe that there should be a vote and I hope for the sake of our children that we do get the right to use the taxes for prek. Our city should have the right to have a stable program whereas state funding is not guaranteed. It will not be that much money for the wealthy to contribute to the future leaders of our state. We need to remember our children are our future! I am saying this as a public school teacher and parent. Prek sets an amazing foundation for young children. It is immediately evident in my students - those who had prek and those who were not as fortunate.

Jenn
East Elmhurst



Bill de Blasio is painting himself in a corner by distancing himself from the rich and he certainly wont get far with whatever cause he chooses with someone like Al Sharpton at a press conference.

Ray
Uptown



Pre k is one of the ways to eradicate poverty, why not be a proponent? Feels like classism. Why can't people see this is about creating a successful, competitive society? This will help set up our kids for the college and career readiness proposed by the Core and equity for all kids. Whatever happened to philanthropy?

Brenda
Staten island



The governor had previously said that there is enough money in the budget for pre-K, and no need to raise taxes on the rich. So why hasn't he done it. The big earners as it was put are not going to leave this town just because they get tax more. Rich folks are not going to make any more money in another town than they are already making here.



My kids attended a half day of pre-k 10 years ago at ps 29 in Brooklyn. It was glorified baby sitting. Before we spend anyone's money, please show us the proof that it has value. If it has value, then all the taxpayers should pay for it, not just the "rich." Having the state pay for it properly and fairly spreads the cost. If DeBlasio wants to take up a self rule cause, then let him champion the commuter tax. DeBlasio's insistence that it be paid for by a tax on the rich when other funds are available is ludicrous

Bill
Carroll gardens



New York City needs home rule. We are a donner city to the rest of New York State. We should keep our income, then NYC can take on many more projects rather than being robbed by the state! What does NYS do for us? Other successful international cities like Singapore have home rule and do very well keeping their income.

Yuri



I am retired teacher. This is a payoff to the UFT. Pre-K is basically babysitting. Do not think that adding a 14th year to reach HS graduation will improve graduation rates.

Joel
New Springville



To me, it doesn't seem like DeBlasio cares about universal pre-K, but only about whatever he can do to tax who "he" perceives as rich. Gov. Cuomo has already said there is enough money to fund pre-K for the entire state of NY, without raising taxes. But DeBlasio isn't interested in that because all he really cares about is creating class warfare and taxing one group of people. And then he has the nerve to say that the majority of New Yorkers WANT to tax those making over $500k per year. That is because he is a RADICAL LIBERAL - when the majority of people DON'T make $500k/year, of course they are going to support that! Sure - tax the guy next to me so I get something for free! I'll vote for that!

As an American, that is something I just don't stand for!

Mom of a preschooler who makes less than $500k/year



I agree with Mayor De Blasio that we need a dedicated funding source for pre-k. That is why it should be paid for out of either the city's $70,000,000.00 plus budget or the state's budget. That's what budgets are for. There's something so offensive about De Blasio's notion of "taxing the rich" and his daughter's advertisement with the comment "the rich need to pay their fair share." Do either of those two have any idea how much "the rich" in this city pay in taxes????? I cannot afford to buy an apartment, especially one costing $40-$50 million, can you? One thing those rich people can do that you and I cannot do (besides buying expensive real estate) is pick and leave at a moment's notice. And for anyone who says "oh no, they wouldn't do that," think again. Annually, more people leave this state than come here. What's the downside to moving to Florida with its zero percent personal income tax?

There's a saying "You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar." If he was smart, De Blasio should have just gone to rich people and asked for donations. We would be over this conversation by now, and De Blasio could work on improving the schools we already have.

Sandy
Manhattan



I believe that the most solid source of funding for Pre-K and Afterschool programs is the tax scheme. A tax for city school is no different than suburban folks been taxed for their kids schools. As an after school educator I can testify of the same song and dance of loosing our jobs we have to face every time there are budget cut shortcomings. State funding can be jeopardized by the political shenanigans in Albany so state funding may not be guaranteed. We are already owed by the state Campaign for Fiscal Equity funding.

Obed
Washington Heights



I do no make $250,000 a year and absolutely object to this mayor's proposal to this tax for PreK. Those who think the rich won't leave nyc are very naive. They can live anywhere and make their money. I am ready to leave myself. This is becoming a city only for the poor not for the working class. Mr. Diblasio is a tax and spend mayor. Well let's see who will wait around for him to tax.

Angela
Bay Ridge



Where do families fall in to this debate? Pre-K? How about an emphasis on stable homes where parents instill in pre-K kids the social and educational foundations they'll need in the future. Instead of increasing taxes, how about reminding PARENTS that it's THEIR responsibility to prepare their kids for school, rather than the taxpayers'.



The city and state doesn't efficiently use the money it's already collecting. My Property tax has tripled in the last 10 years. Where is that money going? Ask the question if people would still support a tax increase for pre-k if all NYC taxpayers had a modest tax increase.

David
Brooklyn



Your callers are exposing the far bigger issue in city politics. People do not listen and and do not understand the issue. It's not the need for pro-k. Everyone agrees. It's the means of paying for it and more than 50 percent, a majority, don't get it. This majority is the one the mayor claims gave him a mandate.

Bob
Hell's Kitchen



This is a ridiculous conversation because DeBlasio is trying to portray Albany as against kids, when the governor and apparently the legislature are clearly pro kids and already in favor of paying for pre k. He is merely trying to make poor people feel better about themselves by needlessly taxing the rich when he secretly wants the money to pay for union contracts.

Renee
Queens



Strange that a man (DeBlasio) who can't even show up to meetings on time keeps on pushing this agenda. I am all for socialized education programs for children in this city; but it's funny that the same man who is pushing for a Universal pre-K program or daycare for kids is essentially: 1) stripping older kids of an education by forcing Charter Schools to close 2) failing to address the overcrowded school system that currently exists 3) failing to put a system of checks over teachers/educators who are obviously corrupt and graduating generations of the dumbest kids in the world. (Eliminating standardized test programs is not the answer.)



Has anyone thought about the fact that if such a tax does go into being, it would most likely cost the rich nothing? The silent part of this is that in government when there is a shortfall in one area, it is made up by cuts to other areas of the government pot. It seems to me instead of a hissy fit Mr. DiBlasio could take the offer from Gov. Cuomo and spend that time that he has implement pre-K to work with Albany to get a more reasonable plan that would not wind up being to the detriment of the average taxpayer who is already oppressed. He only has to look to Washington, DC where they are already do it to the taxpayer but the benefit to the rich is that they get their cut out front and the hapless citizen gets the shaft.

Julie



I am a former teacher & I know the waste involved with school districts. I don't like DeBlasio. Why? I heard him say during his campaign that he was from Boston & he followed Boston sports. I couldn't believe it. Why guy runs for mayor of NYC & doesn't follower New York teams.

I am from Pittsburgh, PA originally, but I live in NYC now. I am a NY fan. How could a man run for mayor of a city & say he is a Boston fan. Outrageous. I didn't trust him from that moment. I am a registered democrat, haven't voted for a democrat for some time now. It seems that they are all dogs. Especially DeBlasio. When I heard he pushed for Hillary to be Senator from NY, I knew he was a dog. Hillary is one of the most evil, dishonest, scandalous politicians ever. I suspect DeBlasio has a place in her administration.
No more taxes for anyone in NYC or NY State, no matter what he/she earns. How about the billions collected from the Lottery. That was supposed to go toward education. In my opinion all politicians have their hands in the state & city treasury. Audits should be held & expenditures should be monitored. A Boston man becomes mayor of NYC. All should be worried.

Linda



I find it interesting that the mayor is trying to act like the governor. It is not necessary to raise taxes for anything. The way to create tax revenue and pay for things is to create jobs. Jobs create tax revenue, not punishing the wealthy. The people making $500,000 or more are already paying more than half the taxes in the city and the state. So let's make them pay more because they are cheating the system. Oh really? The tale of two cities is based on world economy trends not people cheating the system. Most of the people buying the new luxury condos are foreign investors who are protecting their assets with some real estate in the U.S. Also for the record, there are more people on food stamps in the whole country than there was before Obama took office. 20% of the residents in Brooklyn alone are on public assistance. The way to create tax revenue is to create jobs, and encourage people to get off of public assistance. If the jobless rate in the city was 5% not 9% like it is now, there would be more than enough money for pre-k. The mayor's behavior is making him look stupid.

Jonathan



If the tax increases are ONLY for those that make $500.000 + that would be great! but the problem is when the tax is increased all equally so we are all screwed. On the other hand, why not allowing to vote that is definitely unacceptable. That's why sometimes when the government doesn't want to take action for the people, is the time to take direct action and make executive decisions.

Alberto in Hamilton Heights.

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