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NYC Mayor May Raise Property Taxes

November 8, 2002

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NEW YORK (AP) _ The Bloomberg administration wants to raise property taxes early next year to help close a growing budget deficit, a published report said.

City officials said the administration is hoping the City Council will approve the tax hike _ the first in a decade _ before the January tax bills are sent to property owners, The New York Times reported Friday.

``We were told about the advantages of doing things sooner, rather than later,″ an unnamed council member told the paper.

The budget deficit is expected to reach $1 billion in the fiscal year that ends June 30, and $5 billion to $6 billion the following year.

A mayoral spokesman would neither confirm nor deny the prospect of an imminent increase, noting the mayor would release his financial plan later in November.

The size of the tax increase is still up in the air, the Times said, but under the law, the city can raise the tax by the equivalent of about 12 percent this year and 25 percent next year. Such raises would generate additional revenues of $1.2 billion in the current fiscal year and $2.5 billion the following year.

Property taxes are considered the most likely to be raised because it is the only levy the city can increase without the state’s permission.

Bloomberg’s administration is expected to announce budget cuts as early as next week. The mayor recently imposed a citywide hiring freeze and called on city agency’s to reduce their budgets by 7.5 percent.

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