FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 21, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES NEW TAX CUTS, EDUCATION REFORMS, AND CRIME-FIGHTING INNOVATIONS IN WEEKLY RADIO ADDRESS
The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, January 21, 2007
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"Last week, I gave a speech on the state of the city which reflected on the great progress of the year just past, and the promise of the years ahead. We're now going to take the next steps to fulfill that promise by increasing opportunity and empowering all New Yorkers to take an active role in making the greatest city in the world even greater.
"In our schools, for example, we're launching a new set of reforms that will help kids succeed in the classroom. We'll do this by reducing bureaucracy, giving individual schools greater control over their destinies, and giving parents the information they need to really hold schools accountable. In addition, we will reform the tenure system to reward teacher excellence and we will bring fairness to our school funding system to ensure that every school has the resources it needs to drive up student achievement.
"We're also pioneering innovations that will enable everyday citizens to help the NYPD make the safest big city in the nation even safer. This year, we will begin working to equip 911 call centers to receive digital images and videos - from New Yorkers who are at the scene of an emergency - via cell phone or computer. Eventually, 311 call centers will also be similarly equipped…allowing New Yorkers to document non-emergency quality-of-life problems.
"To foster the continued growth of our economy - which has come back stronger than ever - we're putting money back into the pockets of the hard-working New Yorkers who protected our city's future during tough times. Later this week, we will introduce a preliminary budget that will contain more than $1 billion in tax relief - including proposals to continue the $400 property-tax rebate and to lower the property tax rate for the coming fiscal year by 5%. Taken together, our proposals will mean an average savings of $600 per homeowner.
"Encouraging small businesses growth is also vital to our future. To do that, we will seek to reduce the Unincorporated Business Tax through a combination of deductions and credits. And to make sure that New Yorkers and visitors continue to shop in our city's great stores, we will ask Albany to let us totally eliminate the City sales tax for all clothing and footwear.
"We're also going to help low-income New Yorkers get ahead by making it easier than ever for them to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit. Last week, we began sending out tax forms to about 120,000 households who were eligible for City, State and Federal Earned Income Tax Credits in 2003 and 2004 but who never claimed them. The average household is due well over $1,000, and we are so determined to help them get that money … that we've already done the math on their tax forms. All they need to do is sign the forms and mail them in.
"This year, we'll also make it easier for hard-working New Yorkers to earn the degrees they need to get better, higher-paying jobs. In September, CUNY community colleges will establish flexible schedule "tracks" that will allow students with work and family obligations to complete degree requirements during the hours that are convenient for them. Every successful business offers services that reflect customer needs. And so should government!
"Over the past five years, New York City has come further than we ever dreamed. Now, as we enter a new era of prosperity, it's time to take the next steps to guarantee that all New Yorkers have a share in our city's bright future. By working together, we can fulfill the promise of New York …and pass on to our children a city even greater than it is today.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address