De Blasio Faces Showdown With NY Gov. Over Tax Hike for Rich

Image: De Blasio Faces Showdown With NY Gov. Over Tax Hike for Rich

Tuesday, 07 Jan 2014 08:05 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to clash with Gov. Andrew Cuomo over his plan to tax the rich even if the state puts up the money for universal pre-kindergarten classes, reports The New York Post.

The new mayor had declared during his inaugural speech last week that he planned to increase city taxes for people earning more than $500,000 a year to pay for early childhood education.

But even if the state finds alternative means to finance pre-K, de Blasio said on Monday that he still plans to tax the wealthy. "We are not going to water down our goal," he said, meaning he will raise taxes. "We believe in this goal. We believe it’s the right thing to do. We’re not going to bargain against ourselves."

But the mayor's five-year tax plan needs state approval from Albany, and in a year when Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, is up for re-election, de Blasio may find it tough to get backing for such an increase.

Standing in front of a banner on Monday that read, "Cutting taxes for all New Yorkers," Cuomo chose his words carefully while attempting to avoid a direct confrontation with de Blasio over tax hikes.

"I’m in agreement with the mayor that pre-K is the direction this state has to head," said the governor. "The question becomes how do we pay for it. That’s going to be a broader conversation with the Legislature when everything else is on the table."

But the mayor said,"We don’t want half-measures, we don’t want partial funding. When the budget cuts come, children are often the first to take the hit. The vulnerable take the hit. If there are other resources available in Albany, I assure you we have plenty of other needs for them, in our schools and beyond."

Cuomo has said that taxes are too high in "government-crazed" New York, which is one of the most highly-taxed in the country, resulting in people fleeing to Florida where there are no state taxes, according to the Post.

His plan calls for in reduction in corporate tax from 7.1 percent to 6.5 percent, the lowest since 1968, and he also wants to get rid of the upstate manufacturing tax rate and corporate licensing fees. “You can’t beat zero," Cuomo said.

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