Gov. Won't Specifically Address de Blasio Plan To Raise Taxes On Wealthy

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A major issue for mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio is making sure wealthy New Yorkers pay more taxes to fund education, but anything that happens would have to go through Albany.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported Saturday, a plan to fund universal pre-kindergarten in particular by raising taxes on high income-earners has been a focal point of de Blasio’s campaign. But how will Albany respond to the plan?

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was not biting when asked.

“I’m not really interested in debating in the middle of a campaign a plan, because you have campaign plans, and then there are government plans,” Cuomo said.

But he did add: “I am against tax increases. That’s my position.”

The governor said he does support universal pre-kindergarten.

And he suggested that the rich might not be willing to pay more to stay in the city.

“People do leave,” he said. “We know that.”

At a debate last week, de Blasio defended his plan despite reports that Gov. Andrew Cuomo said such a plan would be “dead on arrival.”

De Blasio said Cuomo had not, in fact, said any such thing. He said Cuomo had told him he “will keep an open mind in the issue,” and argued that people want support for schools and would think it was fair to tax the wealthy.

“Those who are doing very well – a half million or more – they’re doing better all the time… so we can safely say there will be popular support,” he said.

At the debate, Republican opponent Joe Lhota accused de Blasio of “making promises over and over that he can’t keep,” and added that a tax hike definitely will not affect just the rich.

“For those of you in the middle class, you’d better hold onto your wallets,” he said.

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