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PR- 207-04
July 29, 2004


Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Law

   "The first bill before me today is Introductory Number 412, sponsored at the request of the administration by Council Members Weprin, Nelson, Gentile, Gennaro, Katz, Stewart and Jennings.  Intro. 412 provides one, two and three-family homeowners, and cooperative and condominium owners who live in their homes with a $400 property tax rebate.  Owners with a tax liability of less than $400 will receive a rebate up to the extent of their liability.  The City will be authorized to grant this rebate for three years.

"In Fiscal Year 2003, New York City faced the worst financial crisis since the 1970s.  In order to get through this difficult time, the City was forced to raise property taxes for all homeowners.  Since then, the City's economy has improved and this $400 rebate will provide relief to the homeowners who made the greatest financial sacrifices.

"It is estimated that 625,000 owners will qualify for the rebate, of which 438,000 own one, two or three-family homes, and 187,000 are cooperative and condominium owners.  This rebate will put $250 million back into the pockets of hardworking City homeowners who have sacrificed the most in recent years and will also stimulate the City's economy, helping small businesses, and creating jobs.  While the City still faces significant budget shortfalls in the future, this rebate represents less than 1% of our total tax levy.  Homeowners were vital in protecting City services during the darkest days of our financial crisis, it is essential that we reward their sacrifice.

"Despite enactment by the City, legislative action is still required in Albany before this local law can be implemented.  Signing this bill today will ensure that once Albany acts, the City can issue the rebate as soon as practical.

"I would like to thank the Commissioner of the Department of Finance Martha Stark and her staff, and the staffs of the Law Department, and the Office of Management and Budget for their work on this bill.  I would also like to thank Council Member Weprin and the other Council Members who served as sponsors and helped shepherd this bill through the legislative process."


Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz   (212) 788-2958

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