The mayor just wants the press corps to ask nicely.
Earlier in April, Eric Adams gave a firm “no” when he was asked directly by an unnamed reporter if he would make a commitment to release his taxes, breaking the tradition of past Hizzoners who have opened up their books. In a public interview at the Cooper Union on Tuesday night, Adams explained his answer — and, in doing so, provided a window into his thin-skinned nature.
Speaking with former prosecutor Preet Bharara (who hosts a podcast through Vox Media, New York’s parent company), Adams said that the only reason he had answered in the negative on the tax question is that the reporter who asked him did so “arrogantly.”
“I comply every year — every year!” Adams said. “So when you arrogantly come to me, because you’re not gonna disrespect me, and ask a question like I gotta answer you yes or no, then you know what you’re gonna get? You’re gonna get a ‘no.’”
Adams has since said that he would release his “tax information” — guarded wording suggesting he still may not disclose his full returns, which have had some irregularities in the past. Last year, the City reported that he failed to report three years of rental income for his Bed-Stuy apartment, which prompted him to refile for 2017, 2018, and 2019. Nevertheless, Adams, who has got a few ongoing transparency issues, has rejected the idea that anything is amiss, declaring that he is “so proud of how much I pay in taxes for this city.”