NEW YORK (CBS 2) — They’re finally talking business.
Both candidates in the race for governor of New York are offering their vision on two key issues important to voters.
CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports Democrat Andrew Cuomo wants to put the brakes on property taxes and Republican Carl Paladino wants to take over the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
If Paladino has his way, the troubled MTA would get a new fix, and a new master – him. He said Wednesday the MTA is a sinkhole of money.
“Can you hearing the sucking sound? You can hear the sucking sound way up here. It’s one big mess,” Paladino said.
The Buffalo businessman said he wants to make it part of state government, answerable to him and his headache if something goes wrong.
He said he wants to be accountable for the MTA, the same way Michael Bloomberg assumed accountability when he took over city schools.
“I don’t know how practical it is,” Bloomberg said.
But while he doesn’t think it would work, the ever-willing-to-save-money mayor said tongue in cheek he sure wouldn’t mind having the state foot the city’s costs for mass transit.
“NYC puts roughly a billion and a half dollars into the MTA if the state wants to take over our billion and a half-dollar obligation I’d certainly be happy to talk to anybody,” Bloomberg said.
Cuomo spokesman John Vlasto said: “It is a bizarre proposal. Paladino would make the MTA a state agency, thus making upstate New Yorkers pay for a New York City-based transportation system. It is an awful and unfair idea.”
Meanwhile, Cuomo was pushing property tax relief for those who live in the suburbs and upstate. He wants new hikes capped at 2 percent or the rate of inflation.
“The taxes are oppressing New York’s working families who have to pay them,” Cuomo said.
The Manhattan Institute’s Josh Barrow said property tax caps have worked well in other high-taxed states like Massachusetts.
“It’s worked very well in Massachusetts. Massachusetts has gone from being the second most taxed state in the country in 1980 to number 23 today, but still is tops in the nation for educational outcomes,” Barrow said.
Paladino spokesman Michael Caputo said he doesn’t like the tax cap idea, saying: “Andrew Cuomo wants to slow the rate of growth of taxes. Carl Paladino wants to cut taxes. All New Yorkers who think their taxes are fine should vote for status Cuomo.”
Taxes are just one of the many issues the candidates are expected to address when they meet in their first face-to-face debate next Monday.
The election is less than three weeks away. In addition to governor, all state offices are on the ballot. Voters will also choose members of Congress and New York’s two U.S. senators.