FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG DISCUSSES NEW INITIATIVES TO HELP HOMEOWNERS, SMALL BUSINESSES AND FREELANCE WORKERS SAVE MONEY 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, March 29, 2009
"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
"If there's any silver lining to a bad economy it's that it compels us to do even more to encourage innovation, generate savings, and avoid waste. Last week, the City announced an initiative that will do just that - and help save homeowners and businesses tens of millions a year on their water bills.
"New York is now becoming the largest city in the world to use wireless technology to read commercial and residential water meters. Instead of having someone come out to read your meter four times a year, as is the current practice, your meter will be read through an automated system, four times a day. Eventually, you'll even be able to track your water usage on the City's web site at nyc.gov.
"There are many benefits to an automated system. First, automated metering will virtually eliminate the estimated bills you currently receive when a meter reader pays a visit and no one's at home. That means that you will consistently be billed for exactly the water you use: No more… no less… and no surprises when bills ultimately get adjusted after the meter is actually read. Second, an automated system will allow you to see more frequent and more detailed information about your water usage. That can alert you to leaks or other structural problems that have been wasting water - and it will save you money. Even if the new system leads to relatively modest reductions in water use, it could still save New York customers millions of dollars a year.
"Last week we also took a step that will help our city's freelance workers and other small business owners save money. There's a lot of freedom and flexibility that comes with being a freelancer - and certainly there's nothing like being your own boss. But freelancers often face some serious disadvantages when it comes to taxes and benefits. On Monday, I announced a new partnership with the Freelancers Union to begin addressing some of those challenges.
"For example, the union supports our proposal to reduce or eliminate the State's 'Unincorporated Business Tax' which double-taxes freelancers and other small businesses. Another major obstacle to growth is overhead. In January, we launched an initiative to create new incubator space for entrepreneurs looking to start their own businesses, and in the months ahead, we'll work with the Freelancers Union to find low-cost office space specifically for freelancers. We'll also work together with them to develop a proposal for a Federal unemployment benefit for independent workers. Freelancers now lack any safety net to fall back on during hard times. That's not healthy for workers and their families - and it's not healthy for our economy.
"Now's the time to start leveling the playing field for these entrepreneurs because they represent the talent and ingenuity that's going to help grow our city's economy and make it work more efficiently over the long term. Independent workers make up more than 15% of our city's workforce - often supporting signature industries, such as design, publishing, and fashion. We need our freelancers, and we're going to do everything we can to make sure the work they do pays.
"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."
Stu Loeser (212) 788-2958
Listen to the radio address