Cuomo not ready to discuss merits of Bill de Blasio tax plan

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo attends the 12th New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo attends the 12th anniversary commemoration of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. (Sept. 11, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo suggested Thursday that he isn't ready to consider the merits of mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio's proposal for a new tax on the wealthiest New York City residents -- at least not yet.

Questioned by Newsday about the de Blasio plan -- which the city's public advocate says could fund universal pre-K programs across the five boroughs -- Cuomo said, "Campaign plans often come down to a bumper sticker."

"And," the governor said at a Montauk appearance, "I'll be curious to find out exactly what the real plans are, and once we have a real discussion, then I'll have an opinion."

Cuomo has been staying neutral through the primary and hasn't commented on any preferences as the prospect of a runoff still looms on the Democratic side between de Blasio and second-place finisher Bill Thompson, the former city comptroller. Joe Lhota, the former MTA chairman, won the Republican nomination on Tuesday.

"Let the races flush themselves out," he said during a question-and-answer session that followed an announcement on federal fluke-fishing regulations. "There are a number of races that just finished. We had Election Day on Tuesday and we'll see how that shakes out, and what the candidates say and we'll make the decisions from there."

Unsuccessful Democratic rival Christine Quinn attacked the de Blasio proposal during their last pre-primary debate, quoting news reports that it was "dead on arrival, going to die on the rocks of Albany."

De Blasio replied then: "The notion that we can't go to Albany and get what we deserve, that we can't convince the legislature that we need the right to tax people who make a half million or more, that's old thinking."

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