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Friday, October 5, 2007
posted by Justin Hart | 10:41 AM | permalink

Governor RomneyToday, the Romney campaign came out swinging. In their first official Rudy exposé the Giuliani "tax and tax again" record is thrown into stark relief. The research is pretty extensive and makes an excellent case against the fiscal policy that Rudy advocated while Mayor.

"Earlier Today, Mr. Giuliani Assailed The Legislature For Seeking To End The Commuter Tax, Saying That If Anything, It Should Be Higher." (Clifford J. Levy, "Leaders In Albany Plan To Eliminate Tax On Commuters," The New York Times, 5/13/99)

FACT: Mayor Giuliani Fought To Tax People For Going To Work:

University Of Pennsylvania's Factcheck.Org: Mayor Giuliani "Fought To Keep" The Commuter Tax. "Also, it's worth noting that Giuliani's list doesn't mention one tax he fought to keep – New York City's commuter tax, which was lifted by the state Legislature in 1999. The mayor and the city council sued the state to maintain the tax – .45 percent of earned income for most of the people affected – but lost in court. The city had been collecting about $360 million per year from commuters from New Jersey, Connecticut and other parts of New York state." (Factcheck.org, "Giuliani's Tax Puffery," FactCheck.org Website, http://www.factcheck.org/, 7/27/07)

FACT: Mayor Giuliani Not Only Wanted To Keep The Tax, He Wanted To Raise It:

Mayor Giuliani Said That The Commuter Tax Should Be Increased Rather Than Eliminated. "Earlier today, Mr. Giuliani assailed the Legislature for seeking to end the commuter tax, saying that if anything, it should be higher." (Clifford J. Levy, "Leaders In Albany Plan To Eliminate Tax On Commuters," The New York Times, 5/13/99)

Mayor Giuliani Threatened Politicians Who Considered Voting For The Tax Cut. "At the City Hall event, Giuliani also warned Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) and any other city-elected backers of the tax cut: 'Voting against the interests of the city, somehow, some way, you will pay for it.'" (Dan Janison, "Former Foes United," [New York] Newsday, 5/17/99)


FACT: Mayor Giuliani Called The $360 Million A Year Commuter Tax "Modest," And Said The City Was "Entitled" To The Tax:

By 1999, More Than 750,000 Non-City Resident Commuters Were Paying The Commuter Tax. "The 33-year-old tax on more than 750,000 non-city residents who commute to jobs in the city rakes in $360 million a year for the Big Apple, when payments by New Yorkers and out-of-staters are counted." (Gregg Birnbaum, et al. "Shel-Shocked Pataki Will Get Tax-Kill Bill Next Week," New York Post, 5/20/99)

Mayor Giuliani Justified The Tax As "Modest." "'Sometimes, the game of politics gets out of control,' Giuliani said. 'This is a very modest tax.'" (Dan Janison, "Former Foes United," [New York] Newsday, 5/17/99)

Mayor Giuliani Said That The City Government Was "Very Much Entitled To This Very Small Tax." "'The city should not feel that it's doing anybody a favor here,' Mr. Giuliani said. 'We are very much entitled to this very small tax.'" (Clifford J. Levy, "Legislature Acts Quickly To Repeal Commuter Tax," The New York Times, 5/18/99)

* Mayor Giuliani Administration Official: "We Want To Retain That Money." "'We are going into this lawsuit in a very optimistic fashion,' said Michael D. Hess, the city's Corporation Counsel, who joined Mr. Giuliani in an afternoon news conference at City Hall. 'We want to retain that money for the good uses that the city will put it to.'" (Abby Goodnough, "Giuliani Files Lawsuit Challenging Tax Repeal," The New York Times, 6/3/99)

Mayor Giuliani Said That Suburbanites "Should Feel An Obligation" To Pay The Tax. "On his weekly WABC radio show, Giuliani said that suburbanites 'should feel an obligation to make a contribution to the city that is doing a lot for them.'" (Robert Hardt Jr., "Albany Tax Slash Has City Weighing Layoffs," New York Post, 5/22/99)

FACT: Mayor Giuliani Sued Republicans In Albany So He Could Keep The Commuter Tax:

Mayor Giuliani Immediately Threatened Legal Action In Order To Keep The Commuter Tax. "A spokeswoman for Mr. Giuliani said tonight that he would file suit to retain the tax, maintaining that the state cannot end it without the permission of the city." (Clifford J. Levy, "Leaders In Albany Plan To Eliminate Tax On Commuters," The New York Times, 5/13/99)

* Mayor Giuliani: "We Will Challenge It. We Will Go To Court And We Will Win." (Gregg Birnbaum, "Rudy Goes To War With Albany," New York Post, 5/14/99)

Governor Pataki Signed The Repeal Into Law, Despite Giuliani's Protests. "Gov. George Pataki signed the law eliminating New York City's commuter tax yesterday at the Rockville Centre train station, much to the delight of hometown state Sen. Dean Skelos, who for more than a decade championed calls to remove the tax." (Monte R. Young, "Pataki Signs Commuter Tax Repeal," [New York] Newsday, 5/28/99)

Mayor Giuliani Filed A Lawsuit Challenging The State's Authority To Repeal The Tax. "Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and City Council Speaker Peter Vallone joined forces and filed a lawsuit yesterday to challenge the Legislature's repeal of the city's commuter tax, insisting the measure was unconstitutional… The suit argues the Legislature passed the measure too quickly and did not receive city permission in what's called a Home Rule message." (Liz Willen, "City Sues Over Tax Repeal," [New York] Newsday, 6/3/99)

The State Supreme Court Rejected Mayor Giuliani's Argument And Ruled The Entire Tax Unconstitutional. "A Manhattan judge on Friday, in effect, rewrote the state law repealing the New York City commuter tax, an action which authorities said could cost the city more than $360 million a year. Supreme Court Justice Barry Cozier said the law, which repealed the payroll tax only for state residents but left it intact for out-of-state commuters, was unconstitutional. His ruling means the tax is eliminated for all commuters…Cozier agreed with lawyers for New Jersey, Connecticut and two private individuals that the new tax law, scheduled to take effect July 1, violates several provisions of the U.S. Constitution. The plaintiffs had argued that taxing some commuters and not others was unfair to those who still would be forced to pay. The judge rejected the city's argument that the law is special legislation requiring a so-called home-rule message before any change is made. A home-rule message is a request from the city to the state to alter a law affecting city affairs." ("Judge Eliminates Commuter Tax," [New York] Newsday, 6/26/99)

FACT: After Losing In Court, Mayor Giuliani Continued To Fight To Keep The Commuter Tax:

The Giuliani Administration Vowed To Appeal The Ruling. "City officials said the court ruling would be appealed." ("Judge Eliminates Commuter Tax," [New York] Newsday, 6/26/99)

The New York Court Of Appeals Rejected Mayor Giuliani's Appeal. "Deepening a financial blow to New York City, the state's highest court said yesterday that state lawmakers acted within their authority last year when they repealed a city tax on commuters and that the 'discriminatory' income tax still levied on out-of-state commuters must also be ended. That means out-of-state commuters will be reimbursed for the city tax they've paid retroactive to July 1 of last year, when the repeal for in-state commuters took effect. The city had collected the 0.45 percent tax since 1966." (Kara Blond, "Court Of Appeals Kill City's Commuter Tax," [New York] Newsday, 4/5/00)

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