Gov. Andrew Cuomo had a saucy response to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call to save Di Fara pizza: pay up or stay out of the way.
While touring the New York State Fair in Syracuse, the governor responded to reporters’ questions about the beloved Midwood pizzeria which was shuttered by the state on Tuesday for failing to pay $167,506 in taxes. While the mayor tweeted that the restaurant must be saved, adding that "I’m ready to do anything I can" to make that happen, the governor said de Blasio has no power to forgive state taxes.
"Now, if he wants to pay the $200,000 on behalf of the pizza place, he can do that. That’s fine," Cuomo told reporters.
The governor added he wasn’t going to pay "$200,000 for their pizza."
Margaret Mieles, the daughter of Di Fara owner Domenico De Marco, told reporters that the restaurant only missed a tax payment in May when it was closed by the city’s Health Department. The pizzeria has been operating in the neighborhood for 54 years.
Freddi Goldstein, a spokeswoman for the de Blasio administration, said the mayor’s office is working with the De Marco family to determine the extent of their issues and if there is any way it can help with their situation.
"Di Fara Pizza is an iconic New York institution and the mayor speaks for many when he says it’s the best pizza in the five boroughs," she said in a statement.