Published in
The Empire

Tea Party group's co-founder calls Cuomo's tax plan 'smoke and mirrors'

One of the co-founders of a major Tea Party group in New York isn't buying into Governor Andrew Cuomo's tax overhaul proposal. Thomas Basile of Tea Party 365, who formerly served as the executive director of the state's Republican Party, said the Governor wasn't focusing his attention in the right areas.

"Whenever you hear the Governor use words like 'fair' and 'progressive,' those are code words for raising revenue," Basile said. "Raising revenue means raising taxes. If the Governor were really serious about job creation, which is the pretense for making these changes, he would be making good on his promise, one, not to raise taxes and, two, to reduce government spending."

Basile said the Governor, who has retained relatively good poll numbers among conservative voters, could expect Tea Partiers throughout the state to take notice.

"The Tea Party members around the state are going to see this for what it is, and that is as an effort for the Governor to shirk his responsibility to reduce the scope and size of government in favor of raising taxes and burdening high income earners," said Basile. "Ultimately that increased tax burden is going to be passed along to the middle class as well, regardless of what the politicians say."