Gov. Kathy Hochul by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In an interview last night, New York Governor Kathy Hochul said, “I’m not raising taxes.”

The new governor, who replaced Andrew Cuomo, issued her promise multiple times. Hochul stated: “I’m not raising taxes, by the way. Not raising taxes. Not raising taxes. Not raising taxes… Because we have enough to work with.”

In response, ATR President Grover Norquist urged Hochul to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and put her promise into a written commitment to New Yorkers, while noting Hochul already has New York businesses lined up for a big tax hike.

Even as Hochul makes this promise, New York businesses are staring at a huge increase in unemployment insurance premiums due to a $9 billion hole in the fund, due largely to pandemic-related unemployment payouts.

Yet, rather than defuse this ticking time bomb, Gov. Hochul has not followed the advice of many businesses to use pandemic bailout money to plug the hole. Instead, Hochul’s plan would have beaten-down businesses pay a hefty price to close it.

Hochul also tacked on comments about wealthy taxpayers feeling unwelcome: “These are not just people creating jobs, they are the ones supporting our arts and culture and out philanthropies. And I can’t have them doing that in Miami.”

Well, the legislature just recently passed a big “millionaire’s tax” hike, the state has the highest marginal income tax rate, and these burdens are all added to other high taxes on property, sales… you name it, New York taxes it heavily. Hochul has plenty of opportunity to address the burdens she says she is concerned about, but her budget does not do it.

New Yorkers can only hope the governor means what she says about not raising taxes, until she makes a serious commitment to oppose tax hikes in writing, and addresses the significant tax hikes businesses are scheduled to face under her administration.