BOLTON LANDING — Republican gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro said Monday he has a plan to cut local property taxes 30 percent over years, primarily through capping state spending and having the state take over the Medicaid bill from counties.
Molinaro, who is challenging Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, declined to outline specific details about his proposal, saying he would trickle them out in a series of campaign stops across New York this week.
He did say the plan would include adding New York City to the list of municipalities subject to a 2 percent growth cap in property taxes, and make the property-tax cap permanent, as opposed to renewable. It would require a “supermajority” vote of the State Legislature to raise any tax.
And it would eliminate state grants to private corporations — taking a critical shot at Cuomo’s high-profile projects that involved underwriting a troubled solar panel plant in Buffalo and a now-abandoned film “hub” in Syracuse.
“The Empire State Freedom Plan,” Molinaro said, as he refers to his proposal, “will deliver the largest property tax reduction in the history of the state of New York.”
Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive, delivered his remarks at the annual conference of the New York State Business Council, a must-do event for politicians in a statewide election year. Cuomo is to address the business group Tuesday.
Cuomo campaign aide Abbey Collins said Molinaro was “trying to pull a fast one” by not releasing more details of his proposal. “His so-called ‘plan’ to cut taxes is heavy on rhetoric and light on details. Maybe he doesn’t want to admit that, instead of providing relief to hardworking New Yorkers, his 'plan' would slash spending on vital services like education, health care, and public safety. New Yorkers won’t be fooled by this latest gimmick,” Collins said.
Molinaro said he hoped the plan would address New York’s steady out-migration of recent graduates looking for opportunities and retirees who are “trapped in homes they can’t sell because of sky-high property taxes.”
“I hope the governor is listening because there is real despair in our state,” the Republican said, whose campaign pitch is, in part, that “all economic indicators” for the state are “pointing up.”
Molinaro also referred to a string of public corruption convictions that have netted Joseph Percoco, Cuomo’s former top aide, as well as several others in bribery and bid-rigging schemes that involved some of the governor’s high-profile upstate projects.
Cuomo, who is running for a third term, hasn’t been accused of wrongdoing in any of the corruption trials. He has contended the projects have boosted the upstate economy.