Ethics Board Rules on Cuomo Air Travel

by Associated Press
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Daniel Foster, flickr

Taxpayers will continue to pay for the governor's helicopter use.

New York's ethics board says state taxpayers must continue to pay when Gov. Andrew Cuomo uses state helicopters to commute to and from his Westchester County home.

But the opinion issued Friday by the Joint Commission on Public Integrity headed by Cuomo appointees also says he can't use state aircraft for daily commuting or when a political fundraiser is part of his trip.

The Cuomo administration says it has never reimbursed the state for dozens of commutes to and from his home. Cuomo doesn't live full time in the governor's mansion in Albany. He has offices in Albany and Manhattan.

The administration had no immediate comment on whether Cuomo has paid any taxes on the perk.

Internal Revenue Service guidelines show the free commutes could be a taxable fringe benefit.

The trips were first reported by The Associated Press in 2011.

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