When we last left them, Democratic Westchester County Legislator Mike Kaplowitz was endorsed by two environmental groups for his support of the Hudson Valley Community Preservation Act, which Republican Assemblyman Greg Ball, his opponent in the race for state Senate, maintained was another unneeded tax.
Ball continued that thinking today with his own press conference faulting Kaplowitz for his support of the HVCPA. (The act gives municipalities the ability, if they choose, to hold a referendum on setting up a 2 percent real estate transfer tax, but only on the amount of money that a buyer pays above the median value for that community. Funds raised go toward land preservation.)
Ball likes to refer to the act as a mortgage tax.
“This mortgage tax is a killer, and Tax Hike Mike is being rewarded for his willingness to shove this tax, yet again, down our throats. I’m calling foul,” Ball said. “For years my opponent ran as a big-spending, tax-loving Westchester Democrat, cozy with Andy Spano and Boss Ryan. Now over the past year he has tried to carefully recreate his image, only recently coming to the altar of fiscal sanity. Now supporting this disaster of a tax increase, Tax Hike Mike has revealed his too-little-too-late political games and gimmickry for what they are, election year posturing. He’s a taxing and spending addict, period. And the only 12-step program available for career politicians like him is term limits, another reform he does not support. The silent majority is silent no more and hundreds of thousands of taxpayers from around the state and millions across the country are now standing up and saying no to the status quo. Tax Hike Mike, as Budget Chairman, taxed and spent Westchester to the dubious position of being the highest taxed county in America. He served as Andy Spano’s toy poodle, approving raises, big cushy perks for legislators and staff, and even approved the $60 million dollar, mother of all unfunded mandates, the Spano Federal Affordable Housing Debacle. This year, go-along to get-along politicians need not apply. My record of cost cutting, tax cutting and corruption exposing is clear. It’s time for new and independent leadership, and an innate willingness to stand up to the powerbrokers in Albany, and that is why I am running for New York State Senate.”
Kaplowitz’s campaign spokesman, Josh Luger had this to say:
“In 2006 – when Assemblyman Ball was first running for Albany office – he said he supported a regional land use plan that would ‘provide additions to the tax base.’ He may not have been referring to the record $2.6 billion tax increase he voted for in 2008, but he did support ‘additions to the tax base’ – also known as a tax increase.
Once he arrived in Albany, Assemblyman Ball decided to cozy up to his Albany insider pals and accept annual leadership bonuses – and then decided not to provide the Hudson Valley with a regional land use plan.
Mike Kaplowitz was endorsed by the environmental conservation groups yesterday precisely because of his dual commitment to growing the economy while also providing citizens with clean air to breathe and clean water to drink. The Hudson Valley Community Preservation Act is a regional land use plan – something Assemblyman Ball used to support —but it is not a tax. It is a tool to empower local communities, through a direct referendum, to be able to raise revenue to protect their own natural and historic resources.
Assemblyman Ball’s hypocrisy on the issue is therefore matched only by his continual failure to deliver on his promises to constituents. Voters are sick of the same Albany style, say-one-thing, do nothing politics. Assemblyman Ball used to support a tax increase and now supports empowering Albany politicians like himself over local communities. Let’s see what he chooses to support tomorrow,” Luger said.
Ball during his press conference said he has “one of the highest environmental voting records” but he does not “support tax increases of any kind.”