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PR- 402-08
October 10, 2008


Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

"The first of two bills before me today is Introductory Number 822-A, sponsored by Council Members White, Comrie, Dickens, James, Stewart, Sears, Recchia, and Weprin.  Introductory Number 822-A alters the Industrial and Commercial Incentive Program (ICIP) from an exemption to an abatement program, now called the Industrial and Commercial Abatement Program (or ICAP).

"When done right, tax abatements can serve as a valuable tool to encourage economic development.  However, it is important, particularly in these economic times, to ensure that these abatements generate economic development at the lowest possible cost.  To this end, the City undertook a comprehensive review of the ICIP, the City's largest such program, which cost over $400 million in foregone tax revenue in 2008.  ICIP, established in the 1980s, grants short-term reductions in real estate taxes as an incentive for owners to invest in their properties and our City.  The City's analysis revealed that, over time, the program had become outdated and contained wasteful elements in need of reform.

"The enactment of the ICAP reform bill will help ensure that going forward benefits will be more consistently directed only to those projects that would not have happened otherwise, saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the next decade alone.  By taking a hard look at this program and working with key stakeholders in the development community, State legislative leaders and the City Council, we arrived at a reform package that will both maximize the return on public dollars and promote economic growth.

"I want to thank Seth Pinsky, President of the Economic Development Corporation, Michael Dardia of the Office of Management and Budget, Finance Commissioner Martha Stark and all their staff for their work on this bill.  I would also like to thank the Council for approving this legislation."


Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958

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