Gov. Cuomo blasted President Trump on Thursday for knocking upstate New York — as the commander-in-chief indicated he’s warming up to the idea of changing a controversial cap on federal deductions for state and local taxes.
“Trump talking about upstate New York is like me talking about Antarctica, you know, I’ve never been there and I know nothing about it,” Cuomo said.
A day earlier, Trump doubled down on comments he made last year, blaming Democrats in the Empire State for any economic woes faced by taxpayers in the region and encouraging residents to pull up roots and look for jobs elsewhere if they’re unhappy.
“I love those people,” he told the Regional Reporters Association. “Those people are my voters. They’ve been treated very badly.
“If New York isn’t gonna treat them better, I would recommend they go to another state where they can get a great job,” he added.
Last year, Trump encouraged folks from “upper New York” to consider moving out of state.
Cuomo, who earlier this week blamed Trump and GOP tax policies for a $2.3 billion shortfall in the state’s estimates for personal income tax revenue, took umbrage with the President’s assessment of the New York economy.
“Upstate New York, jobs are coming back. The unemployment rate that is now at an all-time low in the state of New York, that is all across the state. So it’s a totally different economic reality than he’s talking about,” he said.
Cuomo targeted Trump’s changes to the tax law for putting an undue burden on New York and other blue states, arguing that wealthy residents have fled New York for homes in Florida and other states that haven’t been hit as hard by the new tax law.
“It is devastating. And the state’s with the higher state and local taxes, obviously it’s more devastating,” Cuomo said. “The blue states actually got a tax increase. It was an economic civil war done suddenly, done with nuance, but we now have one tax structure and the red states have a different tax structure.”
New York and three other high tax states sued the Treasury Department, the Internal Revenue Service and the Trump administration last year, claiming the deduction cap infringes upon states’ rights.
Trump said Wednesday that he’s “open to talking about” revising the so-called SALT cap, which limited the amount of state and local taxes that can be deducted on federal returns to $10,000.
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) addressed the President’s comments during a trip to Washington Thursday to meet with the New York Congressional Delegation.