Ridge councilmember slams mayor’s overlooking of property taxes in new budget

A handful of city councilmembers – one of Bay Ridge’s own included – have slammed Mayor Bill de Blasio for excluding property-tax relief from his nearly $90 million budget proposal.

The mayor’s 2019 budget – up $4 billion from his proposed spending plan –focuses heavily on education and other projects.

“We are extremely disappointed that in the $89 billion budget Mayor de Blasio unveiled Thursday there is no property tax relief to help seniors, retirees, working and middle class families who are struggling to make ends meet, as their taxes have skyrocketed and their incomes have stagnated,” said Councilmembers Justin Brannan, Steven Matteo, Joseph Borelli, Paul Vallone, Barry Grodenchik and Mark Gjonaj in a joint statement. “There also is no indication of how this administration intends to address the glaring inequities of a property tax system that charges the owner of a modest home in our districts more than the owner of a multi-million dollar brownstone in Park Slope.”

Brannan, who represents a swathe of southern Brooklyn including Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst, told this paper that he hopes Hizzoner will listen to the pleas of those drowning in property taxes.

“During my campaign, I spoke to homeowners from Bay Ridge Parkway to Bay 44th Street and they all had one thing in common: their property taxes are too damn high and there is no relief in sight,” the pol told this paper. “Why should the owner of a modest two-family home in Bath Beach be paying three times as much in property taxes as the owner of a similarly sized home in Park Slope? Not only is this unfair, it makes absolutely no sense. During my campaign I promised to fight like hell for real property tax reform and now as elected official it’s a promise I intend to keep.”

The Council had previously proposed a $400 property tax rebate for homeowners making below $150,000, as well as a commission to study reforms of the system’s inequalities.

“We are all for making New York City more fair and that’s why we will continue to forcefully advocate for a property tax rebate throughout the budget negotiation process; homeowners in this city need property tax relief in a big way, and they need it now,” the group of councilmembers said. “I know we speak for just about every property owner in the five boroughs when we say, ‘C’mon man, give us a break!’”

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