Cardinal takes on Governor Cuomo in new ads

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Ads supporting the proposed Education Tax Credit are hard to miss, and those making them say until the Governor Andrew Cuomo acts, you’ll see a lot more of them.

In the latest television ad, Cardinal Timothy Dolan says, “Governor Cuomo assured us he would fight for an innovative plan to help these students but when the state budget was done, we were left out.”

Sister Carol Cimino, the superintendent of Buffalo Catholic Schools, says, “The governor promised the cardinal that he would get it done and he would push for tuition tax credits.”

It’s a concept that the governor supports, but during an interview last month he said the legislature still hasn’t worked out the finer points.

He said, “The devil is in the details, like a lot of other proposals: how much does it cost, is there a cap, what is the cap, is there a percentage of the credit, which gets technical very quickly when you get into the weeds – but we were not able to work it out in the budget.”

Under the proposal, participants could lower their tax bills if they gave money to private or public schools. That money would go toward students scholarships.

It’s a plan that supporters believe will keep costs down for Catholic school families.

Sister Cimino explained, “They pay taxes, they pay school taxes, they pay property taxes but they’re not getting anything out of that because they’re also paying tuition.”

The ads are funded by the Coalition for Opportunity in Education. The non-profit lobbyist group receives donations from private schools of all denominations and many labor unions.

They will continue until at least the end of the legislative session.

“The legislative session ends June 19th, if it doesn’t get done by then and if it’s not pushed by the governor in particular it’s not going to get done,” said Sister Cimino.

A deadline Governor Cuomo isn’t sure they will meet.

“The question is can we work it out between now and the end of session, and I just don’t know,” he said.

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