Governor Andrew Cuomo really, really doesn't want Bill de Blasio to raise taxes on New York City's wealthiest to pay for universal Pre-K in New York City, so much so that he's willing to cut a check for just about everything de Blasio's plan will need.
“Whatever he needs,” Mr. Cuomo told the New York Times in an interview yesterday. “As fast as he can phase in, we’ll fund it.”
Cuomo's interview came after de Blasio reiterated his intention to lobby the state legislature to allow him to raise taxes in New York City. Cuomo, however, fearing a precedent where de Blasio raises taxes to fund one initiative after another, is looking to nip this thing in the bud.
“If it’s not pre-K,” Mr. Cuomo said, “it’ll be something else.”
Cuomo said that he understands de Blasio is trying to follow through with a campaign promise, but that it wouldn't be necessary to continue with his tax plan now that the state has offered to foot the bill: "Why do you need a tax for a service we’re going to fully fund?"
De Blasio's administration remains steadfast in their insistence that their plan to raise taxes is the best way forward for universal pre-k.
“While we commend the governor for his proposal, we continue to believe that the fairest way to secure a dedicated, full five years of funding — that is not subject to the whims of Albany politics — is a modest tax on the wealthiest New Yorkers,” a de Blasio spokesman wrote in an e-mail the New York Times.
Instead of pursuing an agenda item that has already forced the governor to act, perhaps the de Blasio administration could focus on other issues, like the wholesale robbery of poor New Yorkers by the NYPD.