State Sen. Majority Leader John Flanagan on Friday described as “idiotic” a millionaires’ tax proposed by Mayor de Blasio and Cynthia Nixon to help fund the MTA.
“A millionaires’ tax is idiotic,” Flanagan said on “The Answer” radio show. “It’s bad public policy. It’s bad governmental policy.”
As Nixon rode the rails and met with reporters to promote the tax, Flanagan warned that the state’s millionaires already support the economy and, if pushed too far, will flee.
“Thank God we have a lot of people who are of that caliber and of that class,” he said. “Those people can move and those people are moving. They are taxed to the hilt already. They are overtaxed. No matter where they be, New York City or otherwise, if you want to drive people out, which the governor and the mayor are quite adept at doing, yeah go for your millionaires’ tax.”
Gov. Cuomo has dismissed de Blasio’s plan to impose an added tax on millionaires as “unrealistic.”
“As long as I’m vertical and breathing, as long as I’m in the Senate, as long as I have a chance to lead the Senate, we are not doing the millionaires’ tax” Flanagan said.
Asked whether he could lose the leadership post because of Democratic victories that de Blasio is predicting in November, Flanagan dismissed the idea.
“You know what? You made me smile and you made me laugh,” he said.
Flanagan also told the radio host he could not support congestion pricing until the specifics are hashed out.
“There are no details whatsoever,” he said. “It’s just broad brush assertions of what could get done. We’re not talking about $500 million or a billion and a half dollars. We’re talking about upwards of $20 billion.”
Flanagan said the plan should outline improvements to the L and R trains, as well as express buses in the outer boroughs. He added that congestion pricing will be a tough sell unless New Yorkers believe they’re getting improved transportation in return.
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