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A no-tax pledge, an old tax bill surface in 3rd CD race

Republican candidate Philip Pidot, right, slammed 3rd Congressional

Republican candidate Philip Pidot, right, slammed 3rd Congressional District GOP opponent Jack Martins on Sept. 9, 2016, for failing to sign a pledge against raising taxes. Credit: James Escher

ALBANY — Republican candidate Philip Pidot on Friday slammed 3rd Congressional District GOP opponent Jack Martins for failing to sign a pledge against raising taxes. Martins in turn accused Pidot of failing to pay a small business tax bill in Delaware.

The Americans for Tax Reform pledge calls for politicians to: “Oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses” as well as to “oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.”

Their Democratic opponent in the district that includes parts of Long Island and Queens, Thomas Suozzi of Glen Cove, didn’t sign the pledge either. His spokeswoman had no comment. Nationwide 578 incumbents and challenges for congressional seats signed the pledge that began in 1986. Among the 14 congressional candidates in New York who signed the pledge are Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley).

“It’s a crucial part of my economic platform and major area of concern,” said Pidot of Glen Cove. “I’m not even asking him to lower taxes,” Pidot said in an interview, “just not to raise taxes over this ridiculous amount.”

Martins had no immediate comment, but struck back at Pidot citing an unpaid business tax bill of $525 in Delaware for a company Pidot created in 2007.

“When our opponent decides to pay the back taxes for his company and actually has a legitimate company he can talk about taxes,” said Martins’ spokesman E. O’Brien Murray. He then listed Martins’ accomplishments in Albany as a senator who voted on state budgets that lowered taxes, created a property tax cap, eliminated the Metropolitan Transportation Authority commuter tax, and reduced debt in Mineola.

Pidot spokesman Bill O’Reilly said the firm is dormant

“We’re not aware of any Delaware tax liabilities, but we’ll double check with Delaware’s tax office, and of course pay if anything is outstanding,” O’Reilly said. “There’s been no notice of any liabilities that we’re aware of.”

Pidot and Martins face each other Oct. 6 in a Republican primary, barring a court decision. They are scheduled to return to a federal appeals court Sept. 14 to argue Martins’ attempt to move the general election for the race to Dec. 6, from Nov. 8. Martins argued that because the primary was delayed from June, that the general election for the race should be moved, too, to allow for more time for printed ballots to get to military voters overseas.

The race is to succeed Rep. Steve Israel, who is retiring.


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