Top Cuomo aide to tax-cap opponents: “Forget it. Stay home.”

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top aide had some stern words for opponents of the state’s 2 percent property-tax cap, telling them to “stay home” if they want to raise taxes in Albany.

Larry Schwartz, Cuomo’s chief of staff, appeared on an Albany radio program Thursday to push back against a pair of reports issued this week that were highly critical of the state’s tax climate, including a Tax Foundation report that ranked New York 50th in the country.

But as the conversation turned toward the steps Cuomo has taken to rein in taxes and spending, Schwartz issued a warning for opponents of the tax cap.

“If there’s anybody running for office this year that doesn’t support the governor’s property-tax cap and they think their property taxes should be higher than the tax cap, then they shouldn’t come to Albany, they should stay home,” Schwartz told host Fred Dicker on WGDJ (1300AM) in Albany.

He continued: “Here’s my advice to every candidate who doesn’t support the property-tax cap: If you think you’re going to come to Albany to raise taxes, forget it. Stay home.”

The tax cap, enacted in 2011, limits the amount local governments can raise their tax levy to 2 percent, with some exemptions for growth in pension costs or business expansion. It’s become a hot topic in a number of key state Senate races, with a candidates’ vote or position on the issue closely scrutinized.

Schwartz was highly critical of the reports from the conservative Tax Foundation and libertarian Cato Institute, which he said were “more based on ideology and not facts.”

“They basically took a bunch of data sets and manipulated them to fit their world view, which is they support a flat tax, not a progressive tax like we have here in New York state,” Schwartz said. “If they were really being honest about it they would have weighted all of their data sets equally.”

Specifically, Schwartz said the Tax Foundation put too much of an emphasis on the impact of corporate taxes rather than the impact of property taxes, which he said represent a greater burden to businesses. He pointed to steps Cuomo, a Democrat, has successfully pushed in his 21 months as governor, including the tax cap, making changes the state’s income-tax brackets and eliminating part of the MTA payroll tax.

“The property-tax burden on businesses is far greater than corporate taxes are,” Schwartz said. “If they had bothered to look at the facts, they would have known that New York businesses pay over five times as much in property taxes to localities as they do in income taxes.”

Schwartz also cited a recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce report — which put New York as No. 10 on its list of “Enterprising States” — as a better metric of the state’s business climate.
(AP Photo)

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11 Comments

  1. just the facts on

    that means that george latimer has been dissed by a governor of his own party,,
    STAY HOME GEORGE!

  2. yeh, what does Latimer have to say about that?

    And since the Latimer doesn’t support the tax cap, sounds like Gov Cuomo would prefer to have Bob Cohen in the Senate. At least Bob supports the governor on these major initiatives.

  3. Note to “Bill” OReilly and “Just the Facts” Maisano. Better pay more attention to Slumlord Bob’s problems: Daily News 10-11-12 page 8.

  4. wage, we’ve been there & done that already & didn’t Suzi get reprimanded by the Campaign Fair Ethics Board (or whatever they’re called) for trying to lable Bob Cohen the same thing? I pretty sure that’s how it went down.

    If you want we can start to bring in George’s private life into the election too, like those unitemized campaign expenses used for late night dinners, but I think everyone concerned would like to stick to the issues and yesterday’s topic of the day was the tax cap and Latimer’s refusal to support our governor on his signature legislative accomplishment. So if Latimer isn’t supported by the governor & vise versa, why would anyone vote for the guy? That’s not how you bring the bacon home for your district and not how to approach of our problems.

    And wage, since you think i’m someone I’m not, it makes me think your really George or one of his union buddies doing nothing but blogging for their guy all day on the government dime. BTW, I’m just a regular guy who gets up everyday, sees my kids off to school and then I’m off to work. Sorry to delude into thinking I’m some hot shot policital guy, but I’m not. I’m just sick of George trying to make himself into a tax cutter, when only the opposite is truth. Why do you think he’s running on the Working Families Party line?

  5. just the facts on

    the fact that you are willing to blame bob cohen because there is gambling and drugs
    in lower end buildings is an indication of your entitlement mindset…cohen owns buildings
    and has worked diligently with the authorities to rid them of these leaches who pray on
    their own neighbors by conducting illegal operations inside the buildings where they live
    that in fact has absolutely nothing to do with who would make a better state senator
    and i will put bob cohen’s business ability against george lattimer’s spending ability any
    day of the week….isn’t it interesting that just before an election the “tenants’ issue
    a press release complaining..the state democratic campaign comittee tried the same
    thing last time with suzi…she still almost got beat..because the public understands that
    the state senate democrats are desperate

  6. 1) Hey guys…Suzi was criticized last time because it wasn’t real tenants in her ads. They never commented that her accusations weren’t true. Go back and re-read it.

    2) Note that it wasn’t real man in the street people criticizing Lattimer in Cohen’s ads. Same principle. But you guys do a great job of manipulating that Fair Board thingy. I wouldn’t waste my time if I were a Democrat with that group.

    3) Bob has offered his BUSINESS career as a reason for his being elected. There’s nothing personal about scrutinizing his business record as a landlord. That ain’t”personal”. You’re looking for an excuse to go personal on Lattimer as your negative of last resort.

    4) Unlike 2010, The Daily News thinks its worthwhile to look at Cohen’s record on buildngs. So go attack them, too.

    5) Who went negative first in this campaign??? Bill O’Reilly had 20 negative press releases before Lattimer said Bip. Reisman even said Lattijer should take off the gloves. Latimer was a Joe Palooka punching bag. Week after week I got negative mailers (Lattimer is Missing. Lattimer’s Hiding”), so Bob Cohen Don’t Cry now if you’re getting your first taste of blowback.

    6) The Republicans WANT THIS SEAT SO BAD!!! RSA WANTS THIS SEAT SO BAD. ASTORINO WANTS THIS SEAT SO BAD. That’s whats driving your negative campaign. You all know Lattimer’s a decent guy, hard worker, works with Republicans, and has a decent record. You know, when the bluster is over, you slimed a good guy because YOU HAD TO HAVE THIS SEAT and that’s the only reason.

    Union guys and white collar guys, Ds and Rs and Is and whatevers, community people all know what a good guy George Lattimer is. You may win ONLY because you dump a load of money and crap on his head. But in every other way, George Lattimer is a terrific guy and official.

  7. Larchmonter, the topic here is the tax cap and George’s inability to even get the support of Gov. Cuomo, who’s in his own party. So let’s stick the story & the issues of the district?

    So why would anyone want to elect a senator that can’t even work with the sitting governor who’s in his own party? What’s the point? He stands NO chance getting anything accomplished.

    We have real problems in NY & a guy like George Latimer isn’t going to and never has helped solve or be a part of the solution to any of them.

    And the last time I checked, it’s Latimer’s side of the campaign that got sanctioned by the Fair Campaign Board, so I know who’s being slimed here & that’s Bob Cohen, but Latimer’s too desperate to actually discuss our problems. If I had Latimer’s voting record, I’d want to run & hide too.

  8. Latimer’s a wonderful guy. Do him a favor and get his property and school taxes down by voting for his opponent, no matter who he/she is.

  9. Can’t trust Bob Cohen

    Sick of his scurrilous hate mail financed by the NYS Republican Party from Albany.

    His latest false mailer from Cohen touts his “home is where the family is” What a bunch of malarkey pure and simple

    Cohen moved instantly to buy a house in Scarsdale to be in the new district drawn up by crooked politicians in Albany at the early AM hours, something Geo Latimer refused to be a part of ….important issues such as redistricting has to be done in an open transparent way.

    Cohen the hater has the nerve to have his campaign mailers bought and paid for by the Albany political bosses in the Republican party and then says “home is where the family is” ?!?!?
    Who is he trying to fool ??!?!?

    Logical informed voters will be voting for George Latimer on Nov 6 and not some liar bought and financed by Republican bosses

    We have had too much of Republican liars and millionaires for a lifetime.