Hochul, Zeldin take different views on the economy

Republican Lee Zeldin blamed Democrats, and Governor Kathy Hochul in particular, for an economic malaise in the state that led to population loss.

“We want all New Yorkers to be able to stay, live here, prosper and not have to leave,” Zeldin said in his victory speech after winning the Republican primaries in June. “Right now, you look at other states where you feel your money goes further.”

Zeldin is trying to convince voters he can solve the problem, in part by cutting government spending and regulation.

What do you need to know

  • Republican Lee Zeldin has made the economy a top campaign issue, arguing that Democratic policies are leading to population loss in New York.
  • Zeldin wants to reverse the state’s longstanding ban on fracking and approve more pipelines, which he says would create jobs and lower energy costs.
  • Governor Kathy Hochul is touting the recently announced agreement to bring a massive microchip manufacturing campus to the Syracuse area.
  • Hochul also earmarked $600 million in state funding for a new Bills stadium and $350 million for investments in Long Island.

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On job creation, he recently launched the creation of small business incubators – the first in Harlem – and expressed support for vocational programs.

He said it can improve the state’s business climate.

“One of the main things we need to do is cut taxes in general,” he said in comments last month before the State Business Council. “That includes getting rid of the New York estate tax. I, personally, am someone who would be very much in favor of not having an income tax in New York.”

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Zeldin also wants to reverse the state’s long-standing ban on the method of extracting natural gas known as fracking.

He also supports the approval of more pipelines.

Zeldin said these measures would create jobs and reduce energy costs, but they also put him at strong odds with environmental advocates.

Meanwhile, Hochul disclosed his job creation record.

It has pumped state money into renewable energy projects that will create so-called green jobs and into major development initiatives such as the deal to bring a massive microchip manufacturing campus to the Syracuse area.

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Hochul also put $600 million in state funding for a new Buffalo Bills Stadium and set aside $350 million for investments on Long Island — all part of his efforts to boost the state’s economy.

“I want to banish New York’s reputation as a high-tax state,” she told the Business Council. And indeed, in our budget, we cut taxes on the middle class by $1.2 billion. We got a discount on the property tax. We also suspended the gas tax.”

Zeldin has also campaigned against the gas tax – one of the few areas where the two seem to agree.


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