ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — Governor Hochul has come under scrutiny after the New York Times reported her most recent campaign initiatives were funded by former New York City mayor and billionaire, Michael Bloomberg. Our Capitol Correspondent Amal Tlaige spoke with experts who explained why this could be an issue.
You may have seen recent mail pieces or maybe a digital ad encouraging New Yorkers to support the Governor’s budget proposal. Critics are saying because of The Times report, the budget could help billionaires rather than your average New Yorker. “There were suspicions about which billionaire was paying for the ads and it came out clearly yesterday that it’s Mike Bloomberg, the richest person in New York,” said Michael Kink, Executive Director of Smart Economy for All Coalition says billionaires use their money to push unpopular policies.
While the Governor is proposing no increase on income taxes the legislature has a different plan, “Both the Senate and the Assembly proposed modest tax rate increases on individuals making over $5 million a year, and on corporations making over $5 million a year in profit,” said Kink. He also said that’s only point two percent of the population. “And polling shows that most New Yorkers support making those wealthiest individuals pay more to invest in the things that all communities need,” he said.
Those ads were funded by an Organization called American Opportunity who’s mailing address is the same as the Democratic Governors Association. Governor Hochul was asked at press conference whether or not Bloomberg’s funding had anything to do with her budget proposal, “I’m grateful to have support, whether it’s from governors, fellow governors, who look at what we do here in New York as a model for other states.” The budget is due April 1st.