In a speech to a civic group Thursday organized by the Association for a Better New York, William C. Thompson Jr. vowed that he would not raise taxes.
Mr. Thompson made his pledge after delivering a speech to a civic group in which he proposed to increase the number of police officers to 37,000 from the current level of 35,000, and to make the boroughs outside of Manhattan bigger hubs for back-office jobs. To pay for his ideas, he told the audience, he would look for a “better bang for the buck” in government “without increasing taxes.”
Asked by reporters later whether he was offering a “read my lips” pledge for the city, Mr. Thompson said yes — and repeated it five times over five minutes, the NY Times reports. “Let me just be blunt, so there’s no misunderstanding: I’m not raising taxes,” Thompson repeated.
“Just to tax — to be able to increase the amount of money that you may not be able to use — doesn’t make sense,” he continued.
Instead, he said he favored “redirecting dollars” and “making sure we prioritize every dollar to make sure we get the best bang for each buck.” He also took a jab at Ms. Quinn, citing the “1-2 punch of fiscal irresponsibility that is Mayor Bloomberg and Speaker Quinn.”
Mr. Thompson’s position contrasts with that of two other likely mayoral contenders, Bill de Blasio, the public advocate, and John C. Liu, the comptroller, who have proposed to raise taxes on the wealthiest New Yorkers. The other major presumptive Democratic candidate, Speaker Christine C. Quinn of the City Council, said through a campaign spokesman on Thursday that “raising taxes should always be a last resort” but that it would be “irresponsible to take anything off the table.”