Pols push for $400 tax rebate for homeowners

March 2, 2016 Meaghan McGoldrick
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A bipartisan group of City Council members is moving to score property owners a $400 tax rebate, citing more than $1 billion  in surplus money coming down the pipeline.

“Quite frankly, there needs to be a middle class agenda that reaches the needs of the working class and, really, whatever is left of the middle class in this city,” said Coney Island Councilmember Mark Treyger who, alongside Councilmembers James Vacca, Steve Matteo, Joseph Borelli and Eric Ulrich, penned a letter to City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Councilmember Julissa Ferraras, who heads the budget committee, asking for relief for single to six-family homeowners.

According to Treyger, a tax break of this kind is the least the city could do.

“It is just dishonest for the government to say that there has been no tax increase when, in fact, these assessments are skyrocketing,” Treyger said. “There has to be some relief in sight for our seniors, for our working families, for people who are retired, and, in my opinion, a tax rebate like this is just a small token of that.

“It’s very difficult for families even to afford to own a home, to buy a home and really to maintain a home, so we need to make sure that we are addressing the needs of these families,” Treyger went on. “We need to have an agenda that advocates for them.”

In light of the letter being signed, other politicians – like Treyger’s South Brooklyn colleague Councilmember Vincent Gentile – are also in support of the rebate.

“The recession is in the rear-view,” said Gentile. “It’s time to help our small homeowners, not short them. The rebate will have a cyclical and positive economic impact for our city. Seniors and those on fixed incomes benefit from this tax relief and as a result are better positioned financially to keep their homes and have more disposable income to support our city’s commerce.”

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