Statement on Today's Daily News Editorial

Liz Krueger

March 26, 2014

Sen. Krueger issued the following statement in response to the latest Daily News editorial criticizing her opposition to a tax credit scam that would siphon millions in taxpayer money to reimburse wealthy donors to well-funded private and charter schools:

"Nothing in today's Daily News editorial substantively disputes or debunks any factual claim I've made. I know they're called the opinion pages for a reason, but that doesn't mean they should be totally fact-free.

"The Daily News editorial board could have addressed and attempted to debunk my arguments on why the unprecedented tax exemption for wealthy donors that they've chosen to endorse (more than a dollar tax reduction for each dollar given, in some cases) is a scam. Instead, they have basically decided to call me names, claim I'm wrong without explaining why, and invoke Cardinal Dolan's name as some kind of guarantee that the money really will go where this tax credit deal's proponents say it should -- struggling schools that need a 'shot in the arm.'

"Well, maybe that would hold some water if the person doling out the money was Cardinal Dolan, but it's not -- Albany is letting lobbyists write the rules on where the money will go. And 'Manhattan liberal' or not, I believe that when we spend taxpayer money on something -- a 'tax expenditure' dollar lost is a taxpayer dollar spent, and this proposal is $500 million! -- we should be 110 percent sure everything works as advertised.

"I've done my homework, and the way this tax avoidance scam is structured, I believe the only real beneficiaries are going to be very wealthy New Yorkers who get to avoid paying their tax obligations, can self-direct these dollars as they wish (which the research shows is disproportionately not toward those most in need), plus get boasting rights on how charitable they are without actually contributing a dime of their own in the end. The rest of state's taxpayers will just have to actually keep paying their taxes and wonder why they seem to have so little say in inadequate public services, including public education.

"A big part of my job for the last 12 years has been to ferret out Albany scams, of which there are unfortunately too many. The Daily News apparently has more faith than I do in the good intentions of Albany. They acknowledge that the way this tax deal is structured would result in exactly what I say it would, but call it a 'drafting error.' I've been here long enough to be a little more cynical about what goes on up here, which is why I see it as a deliberate attempt to give an enormous tax break to a very small number of wealthy New Yorkers."