Published by
Azi Paybarah

Tax Cap Squabble Heats Up NY AG Race

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New York attorney general candidate Eric Schneiderman is defending himself--one day after he voted against a property tax cap as a member of the state Senate. The tax cap passed Tuesday night.

One of Schneiderman's opponents in the Democratic AG primary, attorney Sean Coffey, said the vote was a "rebuke' to taxpayers.

Schneiderman's campaign spokesman is dismissing the attack:

“A desperate last-place candidate throwing spaghetti against the wall to see if something will stick is sad and as old as politics itself. Had Mr. Coffey lifted a finger to get involved in any public interest issues over the last decade, he might know that this proposal endangers vital services working New Yorkers rely on, like education and hospitals -- and that Eric Schneiderman has been a leader in the fight for comprehensive property tax reform, introducing an alternative reform package that limits how much a family can be required to spend on property taxes. Conversely, Mr. Coffey’s George W. Bush style proposal to cut taxes on the rich at the expense of vital services New Yorkers rely on, like schools and hospitals, is the last thing New York needs.“

A number of unions, whose support has been key in Schneiderman's campaign, opposed the cap. But voters outside New York City--particularly on Long Island and in suburbs north of New York City, are for the cap. This vote could, theoretically, hurt Schneiderman's appeal to some of those voters. Then again, he's running in a Democratic primary that although a statewide primary, will depend on a huge chunk of votes from New York City.

UPDATE: For context, here's what Coffey said was the problem with Schneiderman voting against the cap. "[I]t speaks to a larger worry, which is that Sen. Schneiderman is already catering to special interests over the interests of ordinary New Yorkers. His vote against middle-class homeowners is a significant sign that Sen. Schneiderman is out of touch with the vast majority of New Yorkers."