REBNY’s Spinola less nervous about De Blasio

Democratic mayoral candidate described himself as a "fiscal conservative"

From left: Bill de Blasio and REBNY's Steven Spinola
From left: Bill de Blasio and REBNY's Steven Spinola

Democratic mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio described himself as a “fiscal conservative,” this morning, helping to assuage Real Estate Board of New York President Steven Spinola’s fears that de Blasio would be hostile to business.

Confronting a scrum of real estate developers, JPMorgan Chase executives, union leaders and lobbyists at a breakfast hosted by the Association for a Better New York this morning, de Blasio declared his policy priorities: He wants to tackle the city’s income inequality, tax the rich to underwrite universal pre-kindergarden and expand the city’s affordable housing supply.

But, when asked by a hotel owner whether he would commit to not raising the industry’s taxes, de Blasio dubbed himself a “fiscal conservative.”

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“I want to pleasantly shock the room and say I’m a fiscal conservative and I’m a progressive activist fiscal conservative, but I’m still a fiscal conservative,” he reportedly told the crowd. “And so, we can’t talk about tax cuts in any sector until we sort out our financial situation.”

Spinola told Capital New York that most people were “probably surprised” by that description.

“I believe most of my members are fiscal conservatives and social progressives,” he told Capital New york. “So if that’s the case, then we have a lot in common.”

“Whatever nervousness there was is moving away pretty quickly,” the REBNY head said about the possibility of de Blasio assuming the job of Mayor. [Capital New York]Julie Strickland