Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor
Governor Cuomo has two new schemes that are going to hit taxpayers in their wallets. In the next three weeks he is going to push the legislature to agree to taxpayer-financed political campaigns and a new kind of corporate welfare.
Both ideas are bad for taxpayers.
Cuomo’s New Twist on Corporate Welfare Governor Cuomo has a new twist on corporate welfare that he’s misleadingly titled “Tax Free New York.” Don’t be fooled, he’s not lowering anybody’s taxes. Instead, he’s going to establish tax-free zones on SUNY campuses. Companies, with political connections and high-payed lobbyists, will be selected by Albany to open up shop on SUNY campuses and they won’t have to pay any taxes, corporate, property, or sales, for ten years. Their owners and employees won’t pay any state income tax. But, only new businesses or expanding businesses will be eligible. If you own a small business today you’re out of luck. If you work for an existing company you’re out of luck too. Doesn’t sound fair, does it? It’s crony capitalism at its worst.
I was the first legislator to come out against Cuomo’s gimmick, challenging the governor in the press here and here. Opposition is growing with unions and the non-partisan Tax Foundation criticizing the proposal.
All New Yorkers need tax relief, not just a few well-connected companies located on college campuses. We don’t need scattered tax-free zones for a few companies; we need to lower taxes for everyone in the state. If the governor thinks New York’s taxes are so high that we need special, Albany-designated tax-free zones to attract businesses, why not just lower taxes across the board? Why eliminate taxes for a few companies, but not lower them for everyone else?
What makes these corporations more important than the small businesses already here? Why should New York’s struggling small businesses continue to pay high taxes, while the governor lets a few pay no taxes at all?
This gimmick is just corporate welfare. We need to cut taxes for everyone.
Taxpayer Dollars for Political Campaigns Governor Cuomo’s second big government idea is taxpayer funding for political campaigns. I wrote an op-ed in yesterday’s New York Post describing the cast of crooks and billionaire left-wing donors behind the push for taxpayer-funded campaigns. Among the past legislative cosponsors of Cuomo’s tax-dollars-for-campaigns scheme were crooked politicians like the indicted Eric Stevenson, John Sampson, and William Boyland.
Cuomo himself has circumvented campaign finance law’s existing contribution limits to accept $500,000 in donations from one individual, Manhattan billionaire Leonard Litwin. That’s more than eight times the individual contribution limit. Cuomo exploited a loophole in the law to accept donations from Litwin’s many corporations. Not only does Governor Cuomo bend existing campaign finance law, now he wants taxpayers to pay for campaigns.
In the column, I write “Real reform means taking tax dollars away from crooked politicians, not writing checks to their campaigns.” We can’t let this scheme pass. You can read the full op-ed here: A Reform that the Crooks Just Love.
These ideas are bad policy and wrong for New York. Help me get the word out by LIKING my Facebook page and FOLLOWING me on Twitter. Share and retweet my posts with your family and friends. Let’s stop these bills. We just can’t afford them.
Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a former teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie, is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and founder of the Dutchess County based consulting firm KML Strategies, LLC. Lalor is the founder of Afghanistan & Iraq Veterans for Congress and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel. He is a graduate of John Jay High School, Providence College and Pace Law School and lives in Fishkill with his wife Mary Jo and their four young children Katie, Riley, Mikey and Kieran Jr.