Incoming New York City mayor Bill de Blasio may soon be at war with Gov. Andrew Cuomo over a tax hike the former made the centerpiece of his election campaign.
De Blasio, who will become the city’s first Democratic mayor in 20 years when he’s inaugurated next month, has promised to raise taxes on the city’s wealthier residents in order pay for universal childcare and other costly programs.
But to do that, he’ll need state approval and the tacit support of Cuomo, a fiscally moderate Democrat who is looking to lower taxes before he comes up for re-election next November.
On Tuesday, Cuomo will be in Long Island touting the results of a bipartisan commission he appointed to help lower taxes in the state. And on Monday, the rumored White House aspirant was in Washington, D.C. to attend a fundraiser and assure wealthy backers that he wanted to keep New York’s already high taxes in check.
“[Cuomo] did say that while he was governor he was not going to let New York be known as the highest taxed state in the United States,” said former Texas Lieutenant Governor Ben Barnes, who attended the fundraiser, according to NY1’s Michael Scotto.
The Cuomo camp is trying to play up the possibility of a compromise with de Blasio. Such a deal, which would likely sidestep tax increases, would almost inevitably disappoint de Blasio’s base, and perhaps even the new mayor himself. De Blasio was just elected with nearly 75 percent of the vote, and is by most accounts a committed far-left economic populist.
“It will be a delicate dance for both Cuomo and de Blasio…should Cuomo somehow find the money without a tax hike (an estimated $439 million), would de Blasio still insist that the wealthiest pay more in New York City, regardless?” writes New York City political analyst Bob Hardt. “Let’s see how long these two Democrats can play nice in the snow.”