By Michael Teich
Marc Molinaro hopes New Yorkers looking to lower their taxes will give him a chance.
The GOP underdog in the state's race for governor hopes to dethrone Democratic incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who's seeking a third term. Molinaro said that, if he's elected, his first 100 days in office would focus on helping residents keep more of their paychecks.
"It's about affordability in New York," Molinaro said Monday in an interview on Cheddar. "Under this governor, it's the highest tax state in the nation. The highest cost of living in America. No matter where you are, people are really hungry for quality jobs and upward mobility."
The Empire State is home to some of the country's highest tax rates. Residents in New York face the heaviest total tax burden as a proportion of personal income at 13.04 percent, according to data from WalletHub.
"We have to drive down property taxes in New York. It's making us so much less competitive compared to every place else in the states," Molinaro said.
Molinaro also said flaws in the MTA's subway system present an opportunity for him to take on Cuomo by vowing to improve New York City's public transportation.
"With a collapsing transport system, the governor has allowed the MTA and the city subway to end up in a death spiral," he said. "A pragmatic problem solver can actually win and get the job done."
The subway system in New York has the worst on-time rate in the country, falling to a dismal 58 percent in January. Late trains are not only taking a toll on New Yorkers' patience, but also their wallets. The city's comptroller estimated all the delays cost workers and businesses [$400 million annually] (https://comptroller.nyc.gov/newsroom/comptroller-stringer-subway-delays-hit-city-economy-cost-workers-and-business-nearly-400-million-each-year/).
Improving the MTA's flagging infrastructure has also been a cornerstone of Cuomo's Democratic challenger, activist and actress Cynthia Nixon, who'll face off against the incumbent in the party primary Thursday.
While the political newcomer has tried to battle Cuomo as the more progressive option, she lags far behind him in the latest polls ー RealClearPolitics gives the current governor a 38.5 point lead over Nixon. Against Molinaro, he leads by 19 points.
For full interview click here.