BOLTON LANDING – GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro on Monday announced a plan he says would slash property taxes nearly 30% over five years.
Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, said his “Empire State Freedom Plan” would also require New York City to cap property tax hikes at no more than 2% annually like municipalities in the rest of the state, an idea Mayor de Blasio has opposed in the past.
Molinaro, as first reported by the Daily News Monday, unveiled the plan in a speech before the state Business Council that was light on details or specifics on how he’d pay for it. He said he’d rollout the specifics throughout the week.
“We have a detailed plan to pay for it, we don’t have to increase taxes in order to accomplish it, and we’ll be able to provide 30% tax relief to achieve it,” he told reporters afterward.
New York has the highest combined state and local taxes in the nation.
Molinaro said in his speech that the state’s tax burden is a key reason for the massive population outmigration upstate while arguing it also impacts New York City and areas like Long Island.
New York City residential property tax revenue has increased by more than 98 percent since 2005, while household incomes over the same period have only grown an average of 2 percent per year, he said.
“And, Andrew Cuomo’s response? Build shiny, expensive new rest stops and install fancy signs along our collapsing highways and bridges so the families leaving New York with their packed UHauls can stop on the way out – newly reminded of the wonders of a state they are about to leave behind,” he said.
Molinaro broadly said his plan would have the state take over the local share of Medicaid spending, reduce mandates on localities, require financial impact statements on any proposed new regulations, and seek consolidations and government cost efficiencies.
It would address the federal tax reform plan that severely restricted the deductibility of state and local taxes, cap state spending, require a supermajority vote any time the state Legislature wants to raise taxes, and make the property tax cap enacted under Gov. Cuomo permanent and expanded to include New York City.
Molinaro said he supports reforms to assessed valuation in the city and recognizes de Blasio has opposed the idea of capping property taxes. But he said the savings the city would see from mandate relief should make his plan more palatable.
“The Empire State Freedom Plan is a cold eyed course correction to the corruption, waste, dysfunction, and abuse that has dominated the last eight years,” Molinaro said. “No more gimmicks. No more lies. Just real solutions not only aimed at providing relief but also aimed at rationalizing a system that is out of control.”
Part of Molinaro’s plan is also aimed at combating corruption, which he says drives up government costs and subsequently taxes.
Many of the proposals unveiled Monday have been made by Republicans in the past.
“Maybe we should elect one to actually implement them,” he told reporters.
Cuomo campaign spokeswoman Abbey Collins called it “offensive that after backing Trump’s disastrous tax plan, which raised taxes up to 30% on New York’s middle class, Trump mini-me Marc Molinaro is trying to pull a fast one on New Yorkers.”
She called his plan “heavy on rhetoric and light on details” and predicted it would ultimately “slash spending on vital services like education, health care, and public safety.”