Posted by: vote4claxton | December 22, 2008

COUNCILMAN SANDERS VOTES FOR MAYOR BLOOMBERG’S 7% PROPERTY TAX INCREASE

http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/bronx/2008/12/22/2008-12-22_mike_bloomberg_slams_council_foes_of_7_p.html

NyDailyNews.com

Mike Bloomberg slams council foes of 7% property tax hike

Monday, December 22nd 2008, 4:00 AM

With one eye on the canyon-like budget gaps and the other on reelection, City Council members voted 33 to 18 last week for a 7% property tax rate hike.

As far as Mayor Bloomberg is concerned, the 18 no-sayers took the cowardly route, not taking responsibility for assuring essential services and workers – such as cops, firefighters and sanitation workers – are maintained.

“It’s not an easy vote whether to raise taxes,” the mayor said. “Those that didn’t are really trying to slap the uniformed services and others …. And it’s just gutless if you really want to know.”

But those who voted against the tax hike say it will only drive more hard-pressed homeowners into mortgage foreclosures. “I said before, I’ll say it again, [a property tax hike is] the wrong way to go because you can never tax yourself out of an economic downturn,” said Councilman Vincent Ignizio (R-Staten Island).

The 7% rate boost will kick in Jan. 1, and will cost taxpayers a projected $1.7 billion over the next 18 months, spanning two budget years.

The 33-to-18 vote was far more divided than the 41-to-6 vote cast Nov. 25, 2002, that hiked the property tax rate by a record 18.5%.

But that fiscal crisis had been precipitated by the economic aftershocks of the 9/11 terror attacks. Also, many of the same members of the Council – as well as Bloomberg – had just been elected the prior November.

Thanks to giving themselves a possible third-term extension, all current 51 Council members could face election of one kind or another next year. And it can’t help to have an opponent depicting you as a tax hiker. So some of the no-sayers might have had that on their mind.

Heroes or not, here’s the 18 who voted against the 7% tax hike: Manhattan: none; the Bronx: Democrat James Vacca; Queens: Republican Anthony Como, Democrats Tony Avella, Joseph Addabbo, James Gennaro, Eric Gioia, Peter Vallone Jr. and Hiram Monserrate; Brooklyn: Democrats Charles Barron, Erik Martin Dilan, Simcha Felder, Lewis Fidler, Vincent Gentile, Diana Reyna and Michael Nelson; Staten Island: Republicans Ignizio and James Oddo and Democrat Michael McMahon.

flombardi@nydailynews.com

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