Local pols seek property tax and water bill relief during coronavirus outbreak

BOROUGHWIDE — Following a bipartisan letter sent to Gov. Cuomo yesterday regarding the postponement of filing and payment of state income taxes, three of the four lawmakers have joined forces once again in an appeal to Mayor de Blasio to suspend the collection of property taxes and water bills during the current coronavirus crisis.

On Wednesday, March 18, Republican Assemblymember Nicole Malliotakis, Democratic U.S. Rep. Max Rose and Democratic City Councilmember Steve Mattteo sent a letter to de Blasio advocating for the suspension.

With property tax bills due April 1 and quarterly water bills set to be sent soon, the elected officials called on the mayor to provide relief by alleviating uncertainty for both local businesses dealing with government mandates and residents who are either sick or out of work due to these temporary closures.

Freezing collection of property taxes and water bills

“While we work diligently to contain the coronavirus with protective measures to ensure the safety of our community, we also recognize the economic impact this outbreak is having on local residents and businesses,” read the letter signed by the lawmakers.

“We are asking you to provide relief by temporarily freezing collection of property taxes and water bills for those affected until this crisis is stabilized or ends. It will allow our constituents to focus on what matters most; their loved ones, neighbors and employees.”

Malliotakis told this paper that she would like to see even more measures taken.

“Eventually my colleagues and I are going to be pushing for some sort of relief for property taxes and water bills based on this, but for now it’s important that the mayor at least freeze all collections because businesses are having a really hard time here,” said Malliotakis.

She cited examples such a landlords who are not receiving rent and are having trouble paying their mortgages and homeowners who are either sick or not working who are struggling to pay their bills.

Measure of relief

Rose said that the tax freeze would add a certain measure of relief.

“Our small businesses are hurting and are facing incredible uncertainty,” Rose told this paper.

“Any sense of relief that we can provide would go a long way towards getting them through this crisis, especially by postponing collection of property taxes and water bills,” he added.

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