Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript: Long Island Leaders Join Governor Cuomo's "No Tax Cap - No Deal!" Campaign

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Video, Audio, Photos & Rush Transcript:...

Governor Cuomo: "We're going to cut your state income tax and we're going to cap your property taxes so you know it's not going higher than 2 percent... If we do not have the permanent property tax cap in that state budget, this hand will never sign that state budget until it's in there."

Earlier today, Long Island leaders joined Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's "No Tax Cap - No Deal!" campaign to make the property tax cap permanent in New York State. Earlier this week, the Governor vowed that he will not sign a budget without the permanent property tax included while outlining his remaining budget priorities.

VIDEO of today's event is available on YouTube here and in TV quality (h.264, mp4) format here.

AUDIO of today's event is available here.

PHOTOS of the event will be available on the Governor's Flickr page.

A rush transcript of the Governor's remarks is available below:

Thank you very much. Good morning, good morning, good morning. It's a pleasure to be in Hicksville this morning, and let's give Francesca Carlo a big round of applause and thank you for being here. Our great County Executive Laura Curran, thank you. Our also great County Executive from Suffolk County, Steven Bellone. We have Joe Saladino, let's give him a round of applause, thank you for your hospitality. So many good friends who are here today, thank you for coming out.

It's an important time, it's an important time in state government. We're getting down to what's called the budget decision, the budget sounds like it's just a budget, it's about numbers, et cetera. But it's actually the single most important thing the state does during the course of the year, because in the budget is the whole action plan, all the policy, all the economics, everything. And it's very important that we get it right. And this is an important time for the state, it's an important time for the country. It's volatile, it's frightening, it's uncertain - the economy is up, the economy is down. There are international pressures. Businesses are under pressure, individuals are under pressure, and you can feel the instability and the anxiety and the nervousness among people. So it's very important what the state does and it's important that we show stability and confidence and growth.

Ms. Carlo was talking about businesses; businesses rely on consumer confidence. Consumer confidence, people are feeling good, people spend money, people invest, they put an extension on the home. People are not confident, it's the exact opposite. New York, we want people feeling good, we want people feeling confident. Long Island, everybody says the same thing about Long Island. Everybody - Nassau, Suffolk, businessmen - beautiful place to be, I love Long Island. Everyone says it. Great schools, beaches, great park system, great people, it's a great place to be. You can enjoy Long Island when you want, you can go into the city, you can get anywhere you want, it's just a perfect location. They'll all say that.

Second thing they will say is it's expensive to live on Long Island. Why do they say that? Two reasons. First, nationwide the fact is, the truth is, this economy has been terrible for middle class and working families. Terrible! And it's in the numbers. It's not perception, I feel like I'm getting pressured. You are getting pressured! I looked at some of the numbers the other day. The top 90 percent of employees, 90 percent of workers, their wages have not kept pace with the increase in the cost of living. How can that be? This is how it can be: since 1980, the median income went up 117 percent, okay? Since 1980. Cost of college went up 374 percent. Cost of heating a home went up 166 percent. Cost of prescription drugs went up 182 percent. Cost of healthcare went up 190 percent. So, yeah, your wages went up 117 percent, but your cost of living went up faster and higher. So since 1980, you have gone backwards, every year.

In 1980, it's a long time. That's 40 years, to go backwards. And the concept was in this country, you go forward, and your kids were going to go forward. That was the concept. And you wonder why people feel disillusioned? Why people are acting out, why the politics are so extreme, why there's so much anger? You put people in a state of despair, don't be surprised when they are angry and when they act out, and that's where people are. It's not two years, or three years or four years or five yearsforty years. That's a whole generation's career. That's from the time you started work to the time you're getting ready to leave. That's a national reality! It's aggravated on Long Island because the cost of living in New York, the cost of living on Long Island is even higher than the national average. So, yes there is real economic pressure. What do we want to do? We want to reduce that pressure.

How can we do it? Well make sure government isn't aggravating the problem. Make sure when you go through that list of all the increase expenses in your life, that government is not one of the problems. And for many years it was. Property taxes are a killer. They are a killer. Highest tax in the state of New York is what? State Income Tax- wrong! It's the property tax. It's two and a half times what most people pay in state income tax. Two and a half times. And it was going up six percent, seven percent, eight percent, every year. What goes up six percent, seven percent, eight percent? Your bank account wasn't going up six percent, seven percent, eight percent. Your income wasn't going up six percent, seven percent. Your stock portfolio wasn't going up. Only your property taxes were going up. Your home value wasn't going up that fast. So how am I supposed to pay this increase in property taxes? Where is the money supposed to come from? Well dig deeper in your pocket. Dig deeper in my pocket? I'm digging deeper for college, I'm digging deeper for health care, I'm digging deeper for car payments. And now I have to dig deeper to stay in the same house? To pay my property taxes? That was the reality. And we said, enough is enough. Enough is enough.

We're going to bring fiscal restraint to government. Oh, I've heard that before. You can't do it. No actually you can. You can. And it's a simple formula. You want to lose weight, I'm going to tell you the secret, you don't have to stay up until 2 o'clock in the morning and watch those commercials. It's not about cold sculpturing and special plastic belts. It's not what it is. Here's the secret: you can't tell anyone else. You want to lose weight, eat less. That's the secret formula. That's it. Undeniable formula. You want to reduce taxes? Spend less money. It works! It really works. So we're going to have a tax cap, two percent. Which by the way, is roughly the cost of inflation, the cost of increase, two percent. That's how everybody else is living their life. Their home value is going up maybe two percent. Their income is going up maybe two percent. Their bank account is going up maybe two percent. So their taxes should go up maybe two percent and their government should live within that same two percent cap that they have to live their lives. If I have to live within two percent, then my government should live within two percent. And that was true. And Laura Curran is exactly right, it's worked extraordinarily well. Statewide we saved taxpayers $25 billion. Average Nassau homeowner saved $7,600 - average Suffolk homeowner saved $6,200. That is real money. That is real money and we proved we could do it. When we first said we were going to do it people threw stones at me and pies at me and they cursed - 'there's no way we can live within two percent.' I said, 'yeah you really can.' We're doing it on the state side.

We have the lowest increase in state spending since they have been keeping numbers. Think about that. We go up two percent a year. That's the lowest rate of the increase since they've been keep numbers. For my Republican friends, and I can see my republican friends in the audience, I can tell by the way you dress. All Democrats, they spend a lot of money. Republicans, they know how to save money. Oh really? We had a Republican governor George Pataki, 12 years. His average increase year to year was about five to six percent. My average increase, about two percent. So, yes, we can make government work better and we can save money and we're doing it.

I want to make the property tax cap now permanent because I want to be able to say to homeowners, to businesses, feel confident. This government is working with you and we're not going to increase your taxes, you're in the right place, we know that there's instability but stay where you are, we're going to get through this. We're going to make the property tax cap at two percent permanent so you can bank on that. That's what we're going to do.

Second thing to add stability and confidence, I want to reduce the income tax rate for middle class people. Right now the state income tax rate if you make up to $150,000 is 6.8 percent. I want to reduce that down to 5.5 percent. If you make up to $300,000, it's 6.8 percent, I want to reduce that down to 6 percent. So we can say, we're saving you on both ends. We're capping the property taxes at 2 percent, and we're actually going to reduce your state income tax rate. So we're part of the solution, not part of the problem. We understand your situation, we understand your anxiety and we are responding. That's what's in this state budget, and that's what is vital. And that's what I need your help to pass.

One last point. The President of the United States, Donald Trump, tweeted about me last night. Which I take as a, well I don't, I just take it. And he tweeted to the effect, not a verbatim quote, that he's upset the New York State Attorney General started an investigation on him. Which, it's upsetting when they start an investigation on you. He then somehow blamed me for the Attorney General's investigation. You know, facts don't necessarily equate with the tweets, as we know. The Attorney General of the State of New York is independently elected, I don't control the Attorney General. She runs separately, Attorney General James, very qualified, great Attorney General. But he blamed me and the conspiracy theory that I must have somehow put the Attorney General up to it.

But then he had a last line, that's why people are leaving New York in droves, or something. First, little fact check. People are not leaving the state in droves. As a matter of fact, our population is up a little bit since I started, but those are just facts, you know. But he did, he was implying something. People leaving New York. He would like to see people leave New York. He would like to see people leave New York. They passed a tax reform act, federal tax reform. At the time, all the coverage was tax break for the corporation, tax breaks for the rich, but what they didn't catch was a little provision that was stuck down there, that said, "Oh by the way, we're going to end the deductibility of state and local taxes." What does that mean? It's a little mind numbing so people went right past it. What it said that for the first time in history the federal government is going to tax the taxes that you pay to the state and the local government. First time in history. First time since 1861 when Abraham Lincoln started the income tax to pay for the Civil War. It's the first tax on tax. First double taxation.

So you pay your property tax, they then tax your property tax payment. You pay your state income tax, they then tax your state income tax payment. First time ever. This is a Republican president who's against taxes. And now it's double taxation. Well did he do this for all the states? No. Only 15 states. And you want to hear a coincidence? They're all Democratic states. What a coincidence! Who would have figured? That you pick 15 states and they're all Democratic states. I don't believe in coincidences. You want to know which state gets hit the most? The State of New York. You want to hear a gross unfairness? Fifty states. Ten states put more into the federal pot than they take out. Forty states take out more than they put in. Of the ten states that are what they call 'donor states' that put in more you know what the number one donor state is? State of New York.

So even though we contribute more than any other state, we give more than we get, more than any other state. He raises the taxes on New Yorkers. And then he says, 'you should move out of New York to one of those other states where you don't have this double taxation problem.' I believe it was political retaliation. I don't believe it was a coincidence that they were all Democratic states. I don't believe it was a coincidence that they were all states that Donald Trump lost. I believe it was purposeful. It has to be repealed. I'm working with Speaker Pelosi. I'm going to meet with governors all across the United States. There is no single thing I can do that's more important as Governor of New York. If we don't fix it, it will change the economic trajectory of the state forever because in essence, it raises your property taxes 30 percent, it raises your state income tax 30 percent. While we've been lowering them and capping them, stroke of a pen he raised it 30 percent. That's what SALT is. And that's what he was referring to in that tweet. And that's why it's doubly important that in this environment, we can say to New Yorkers, I know you're going to have a federal penalty, but don't worry, because your property taxes are not going up. And by the way, we're going to give you a reduction in your state income tax to compensate for the increase on the federal side. That's the situation we're in. An unstable economy. A middle class, working families that have been under pressure for 40 years. A federal government that just increased our taxes, a high cost state to begin with. A high cost region—Long Island. And we need to say, calm down. We're with you and we're going to help you and we're going to make your life better. We're going to fight that SALT tax to the death. To the death.

We're going to cut your state income tax and we're going to cap your property taxes so you know it's not going higher than 2 percent. That's what's in the state budget. And I will tell you this as sure as I am before you today: if we do not have the permanent property tax cap in that state budget, this hand will never sign that state budget until it's in there. Thank you and God bless you.

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