Cuomo: Assembly Democrats ‘carrying the agenda’ of teachers’ union

Gov. Cuomo says Democrats in the Assembly are “carrying the agenda” of the teachers’ union by opposing his plan to make the 2 percent property tax cap permanent.

The teachers’ union and other labor leaders are hostile to the cap on property tax increases — which is in effect everywhere except New York City — because it limits the ability of school districts to generate revenues for higher teacher salaries.

“The Assembly is primarily from New York City. And by the way, New York City doesn’t have a property tax cap,” Cuomo said Tuesday on WAMC radio.

“So what is the motivation? My guess, if I had to guess, they are protecting or carrying the agenda for people who are against the tax cap. Who is against the tax cap? Primarily in New York City, the teachers’ union.”

Cuomo then complained about the high salaries and cushy pensions provided to school district superintendents.

“If you want to do something about education costs, why don’t you cap the superintendents’ salaries. Why are you paying $300,000 for a school superintendent,” Cuomo said.

“Why are we paying $250,000 retirement benefits for a school superintendent? And you want to ask the taxpayers of New York to pay for that? No way, no way. I’m not doing the budget unless they agree to a permanent tax cap of 2 percent.”

Cuomo’s attack on the union comes as the Democratic-run Legislature is trying to squeeze him to set aside more money for education in the new state budget, despite the fact that projected income tax revenues have fallen.

“We need fiscal sanity,” the governor said.

Even as the governor was warning the rich would flee the state unless the federal tax code is changed, the Assembly released a budget proposals that calls for higher income taxes on anyone making $5 million or more.

The top tax rate — now 8.82 percent — would jump to 10.32 for the super-wealthiest.

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