HVCPA, Ball and Kaplowitz, Part Two


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.”


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  1. Mike Kaplowitz is a phony. He says he’s independent but he’s a special interest pawn.

  2. Jenny 867-5309 on

    More roadkill for Greg Ball. When is the old guard going to wake up and realize that Greg Ball is very well liked by common people throughtout the Hudson Valley? What has he done that’s so bad? True, he hasn’t kissed the ring, and he refuses to bow down to Leibell at Leibell’s command, and in most cases such a transgression is fatal. But that’s why people like him so much.

    Get used to it. He’s not going anywhere, he’s getting stronger, and he’s immune to your useless attacks. If anything, these attacks make him stronger politically.

  3. Go, Mike, Go!
    Dealing devilish blows to the hypocrite on local environment (HOLE) Ball.

    Ball must go. A total waste of air. Keep up the excellent work!

  4. Pawling Pundit on

    Greg Ball has done absolutely nothing in his four years in the Assembly to help alleviate our taxes.
    As a Pawling resident, I am appalled to see that he has now not just forgotten his home town, but turned on it. He has promised to hire a full-time staffer to abolish the village of Pawling and his alma mater, Pawling Central School.
    We don’t need another do-nothing in Albany, we need action. Mike Kaplowitz is the only sane candidate in this race, and the only one with a real plan to solve our problems.
    By the way, I looked into the so-called “tax hikes”, and it is just another disingenuous smear by the Ball campaign. Smears, lies and dirty tricks (like the chicken suit) seem to be the only thing Ball has any expertise at.

  5. You have to laugh these days when you hea all these phony liberal Democrats talk about taxes. They never saw a tax they didn’t like and won’t be happy until we are a totally socialist nation. They see the recent outrage being expressed nationwide and they try to convince you they are (suddenly) fiscally responsible. It’s like the termites telling you they no longer wish to eat your house, and the exterminator is the problem.

  6. pawling pundit, are you stupid? You looked into the “So called tax hikes” and “found nothing but a dirty trick”

    you must be from oniontown if your detective skills are that bad..

    the real property tax levy in Westchester has risen over 80% since Mike Kaplowitz was elected..there’s no running from that.. he may have voted against a budget or two in a tight re-election year or said “I raised taxes, but raised them less than they wanted to,” it just won’t work.

    ask Andy Spano, Peter Harckham, Greg Varian how well that strategy has worked..

    Kaplowitz isn’t even on Comcast yet and that’s the cheapeast ad buy.. I thought they were serious about him. guess it goes to show you..they’re not.