As Albany starts budget talks, de Blasio tax hike fades fast

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ALBANY - Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says his conference’s budget proposal will continue to support Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposal for a New York City tax increase to pay for prekindergarten. But even Silver, de Blasio’s top advocate in Albany, says he’s open to state funding.

“I’m hoping for whatever gets the program going,” Silver (D-Manhattan) said Tuesday. He said he supported de Blasio’s proposal because the mayor asked for “home rule” legislation, which Albany commonly provides to local governments for local actions.

De Blasio sought an increase in the income tax on the wealthiest residents to pay for expansion of pre-K.

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Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo instead offered state funding to avoid a tax increase at a time in which he is trying turn around New York’s image as a high-tax state.

Senate Republicans also opposed the Democratic mayor’s proposal.

“That was dead about two months ago,” Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) said.

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