Governor Andrew Cuomo announced today that so-called “double-dippers”—New York residents enjoying both rent-regulated apartments and School Tax Relief (STAR) rebates—will soon be made to pay. More taxes, that is. STAR, which has been around since 1997, and which benefits roughly three million people statewide, grants tax relief—an average of $700 a year—on primary residences that fall within school districts. Homeowners earning less than $500,000 annually and senior homeowners taking in less than $81,900 are eligible for STAR benefits. But a recent analysis of the STAR registration system found that at least 156 recipients also occupy rent-regulated apartments, which makes rather suspect their collecting tax breaks on properties legally required to be primary residences.
After Mayor Bill de Blasio took a pounding on MSNBC’s Morning Joe today for his sometimes critical approach to charter schools, Gov. Andrew Cuomo scheduled an appearance on The Brian Lehrer Show to praise them.
Not only are charter schools not a threat, Mr. Cuomo said, but they are part of the solution to failing public schools, which he called “the civil rights issue of our day.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo today did his best to undermine his new Republican challenger, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, suggesting Mr. Astorino might not even win his own primary.
Even as Mr. Astorino appears likely to become the Republican nominee–the only other prominent candidate, Donald Trump, said he would only run unopposed–Mr. Cuomo nevertheless cast doubt on Mr. Astorino.
“I’ve seen the movie before. I’ve run for governor before, obviously. That’s how you become governor, to state the obvious,” he said this morning, speaking on The Capitol Pressroom radio show.
Cuomo You Don't!
Rob Astorino, the county executive of Westchester who has been exploring a possible run for governor, formally announced his bid today in a video posted on his campaign website.
Mr. Astorino, a Republican with relatively small fund-raising operations, faces an uphill battle against incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is further boosted by the Democratic-leaning nature of the Empire State.
deal or no deal
One October day on the campaign trail last year, Rob Astorino was heading to a street festival in Mount Vernon, a heavily African-American city just across the border from the Bronx. Not a place where a Republican politician is a natural sell.
After hearing word that several local residents had jokingly threatened to fight him in a nearby boxing ring, the Westchester County executive just went with it.
“Who wants to fight me? Who wants to fight me?” he asked the crowd when he arrived, according to his re-election campaign manager, Phil Oliva.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo met behind closed doors today for about an hour in Albany, but appeared no closer to a resolution on their heated dispute over how to fund an expansion of pre-K.
Speaking to reporters in the capital, Mr. de Blasio repeatedly described the conversation as “productive” but said his plan to up taxes on the city’s wealthiest residents remains the “only reliable plan on the table.” Mr. Cuomo insists he can fund pre-K across the state with existing funds.
A Campaign Grows in Albany
It was a tale of two rallies.
In another round of the political chess between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, Mr. Cuomo spoke today at a rally framed by Mr. de Blasio and his supporters as an attempt to undermine the mayor’s education agenda.
preaching to the choir
Gov. Andrew Cuomo today released a batch of ads, which focus on some of his signature policy initiatives.
The three advertisements, paid for by the governor’s campaign account, promote Mr. Cuomo’s support of property tax cuts and his opposition to Common Core testing.
Their release comes just as Mr. Cuomo’s possible Republican rival, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, ramps up his gubernatorial bid.
Mayor Bill de Blasio welcomed about 200 supporters to Gracie Mansion last night to urge them to do all they can to push his plan to raise taxes on the city’s richest residents to fund universal pre-K.
Members of the crowd, which included the Rev. Al Sharpton and other prominent clergy members, as well as labor leaders, developers, education activists and administration officials, were asked to get their friends and colleagues involved in pushing the “UPKNYC” plan to reticent Albany lawmakers, according to those in attendance.
Super Mario, meet Super Andrew.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo today suggested a new superhero based on his stint as governor, while taking a break from budget negotiations in Albany to announce a deal to film a new series based on the Marvel comics characters in New York.