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February 23, 2019

Cuomo takes shot at Senate Dems over Amazon opposition and accuses them of wanting to raise taxes

February 8, 2019
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned a crowd on Long Island that Senate Democrats are eyeing a tax hike. (Hans Pennink / AP / AP)

Can’t we all just get along.

Gov. Cuomo took aim at Senate Democrats Friday, criticizing his fellow party members for sparking uncertainty surrounding the Amazon deal and accusing them of eyeing an unpopular income tax hike.

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Addressing business leaders on Long Island, Cuomo said Democrats are guilty of “governmental malpractice” and “political pandering” in their opposition to Amazon’s planned Queens campus.

“For the state Senate to oppose Amazon was governmental malpractice,” Cuomo said. “If they stop Amazon from coming to New York, they’re going to have the people of New York to explain it to.”

Cuomo’s comments came on the heels of a Washington Post report that the online retailer was weighing other options in light of mounting criticism of the project.

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) and her counterpart in the Assembly, Carl Heastie (D-Bronx), have both raised concerns about Amazon’s opposition to unionization of its workers and the nearly $3 billion in tax incentives used to entice the company to choose Long Island City.

Stewart-Cousins showed she wouldn’t shy away from asserting her new-found power earlier this week by naming Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), whose district includes the proposed campus, to a panel that could have veto power over the deal.

The governor also sought to warn that Dems in the legislature are looking to boost tax rates on the rich.

“I think it is delusional to think you can just keep raising taxes on people and they’re going to stay there like a potted plant and not react,” Cuomo said. “Today I’m telling you, bring sanity to the Senate.”

Democrats have not indicated that they are mulling over any plan to raise taxes and just last month the state Senate approved a bill preventing property tax increases of more than 2% annually.

“Not sure where the Governor is getting his ‘fake news’ from but Senate Democratic Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins has made it clear we are not looking at raising taxes,” Senate Democratic conference spokesman Mike Murphy said.

The bitter back-and-forth follows a flurry of activity in Albany with Democrats in full control of both the Senate and the Assembly for the.first time in nearly a decade.

“It is unfortunate that the Governor is trying to divide the Democratic Party at this crucial and historic time,” Murphy said. “The Senate Democratic Majority Conference and our partners in the Assembly finally returned New York as the progressive beacon to the rest of the country.”

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