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Cuomo, De Blasio Camps Trade Barbs Over Real Estate Tax Break

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- The gloves have come off in an escalating feud between Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo over housing.

As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported Friday, Cuomo charged that the progressive mayor, who usually sides with workers, is now abandoning them to engineer a giveaway to rich developers.

The issue is de Blasio's bill to renew a tax break for developers, called 421-a, requires developers to build affordable housing, but it does not require that construction workers be paid the prevailing wage.

Cuomo Says De Blasio Bill Too Easy On Developers

"The mayor negotiated a bill that many people criticize as a giveaway to wealthy landlords," Cuomo said. The mayor's bill is opposed by the entire labor movement. They believe the mayor's plan hurts the workers and doesn't pay the workers a fair wage."

Kramer reported that when Cuomo is angry with someone, he has a wide array of moves in his "I'm going to get you" arsenal – some of which fall into the category of frontal assault, and others of which sneak up.

For one example, at an event on Friday, Cuomo announced a campaign to curb nail salon abuses – an issue that Mayor de Blasio has also championed. But in speaking about the campaign, Cuomo totally ignored de Blasio's contributions in favor of the efforts of Public Advocate Letitia James.

"The public advocate just gets it," Cuomo said. "She's doing a great job as public advocate. She speaks for people without a voice."

Cuomo has been privately fuming for days, ever since de Blasio went to Albany this week and said the governor needed to show "leadership" to get the city's school and housing agenda passed.

But the biggest fight is over the tax break. And Kramer reported that attacking the progressive mayor – a tireless champion of raising the minimum wage – as against being labor falls into the category of frontal assault.

"You have the workers saying that this bill -- the mayor's plan -- is blatantly unfair to them, and you have many people in Albany who side with the workers," Cuomo said.

"This isn't a game," said spokesman Wiley Norvell, "... tens of thousands of families are demanding an end to tax breaks that don't give us affordable housing in return. We need leadership. We need results, not misdirection and evasion."

Cuomo also attacked the globe-trotting mayor for coming to Albany to push housing school legislation in the waning days of the session.

"The legislative session starts in January," Cuomo said. "This is a conversation, frankly, that should have started much earlier."

Team de Blasio's response to that was that they did start early, and the mayor testified in February in Albany on mayoral control of schools and rent control.

The tax abatement plan was put out a month ago. But the city's plan has apparently generated such anger among labor that a huge demonstration against it is planned in Albany next week.

Meanwhile, asked if he was being gratuitously mean to de Blasio, Cuomo replied, "Well, that's silly."

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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