Long Island taxpayers should acknowledge Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's successful tax cap in maintaining affordable property taxes ["Cuomo's cuts, checks and carrots," Editorial, Jan. 26], and his leadership in passing three straight, bipartisan, on-time budgets to restore responsible fiscal stewardship to New York State.
However, as Cuomo seeks re-election this year, he will need more than carrots to confront a respected, independent bipartisan panel that remains critical of his 2014 budget, as well as the irresponsibility of the fiscally reckless New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
A nationwide panel investigating troubled state finances, led by former Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch and former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volker, questioned the validity of Cuomo's alleged $2-billion surplus. Ravitch said the state budget has consistently relied on borrowing.
Ravitch said the borrowing started with Gov. David A. Paterson, during whose administration the state passed a law permitting cities, counties and school districts -- and the state itself -- to make the contributions to pension funds in the form of promissory notes. "If I were a public servant and dependent on my pension when I retired," Ravitch said, "I'd begin to get worried."
De Blasio's attempts to raise taxes to possibly reward city municipal labor, in exchange for financial and political support, are contained to New York City. Nonetheless, de Blasio's persistent requests for significant financial aid from Albany in an election year have many wondering: Is he attempting on behalf of municipal labor unions to undermine Cuomo, in retaliation for Cuomo's signature political achievement of passing the property tax cap?
Michael P. Mulhall, Rockville Centre