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NYC mayor de Blasio rules out property tax hikes

Brittany De Lea

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday ruled out one type of tax increase on residents as he announced measures the city planned to take to address a massive coronavirus-related budget shortfall.

“I don’t believe a property tax increase is the right thing and I won’t do it,” de Blasio said during a press conference on Wednesday. “I just won’t do a property tax increase, it’s off the table – period.”

NY TAX HIKES ON WEALTHY POSSIBLE IF OTHER AID OPTIONS FAIL, CUOMO SAYS

While de Blasio has not ruled out income tax increases on the wealthy, he said the last thing he wanted to do was to ask middle-class residents to pay more in property taxes.

As previously reported by FOX Business, property tax increases are on the table in a number of other localities – like Nashville, Colorado and California – as state and local governments contemplate measures to raise additional revenues.

NEW YORK’S WEALTHY TAXPAYERS MAY NOT RETURN, CUOMO FEARS

The statement from de Blasio on Wednesday came as the mayor announced a furlough program beginning in October, which includes his staff and himself. The initiative requires each staff member to take a week of unpaid leave at some point between October and March.

The program is expected to generate $1 million in savings. The city is facing a budget shortfall of about $9 billion over the course of two years.

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Recently, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has repeatedly expressed resistance to raising taxes on the wealthy, left the door open to a potential tax hike if other funding options fall through.

The three-term Democratic governor has acknowledged that many wealthy residents left Manhattan during the pandemic. A tax hike could mean some of these individuals will not return.

But de Blasio has said he doesn’t base policies on “the wealthy few,” when discussing possible tax increases.

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