Brooklyn Bridge Park could raise one-quarter of its massive maintenance budget through a new tax on local businesses and residents — but that idea is dead in the water, say critics, who think there are better ways to raise the money.
A consultant hired last year to search for revenue to maintain the park without building residences within its waterfront footprint released a draft report on Tuesday that predicted that $1 million to $4 million towards the park’s $16-million maintenance budget could come from a new tax on residents and business owners within a quarter-mile of the park.
More than a million New Yorkers depend on rent regulations to keep them in their homes, and New York’s neighborhoods depend on the stability that our affordable housing laws provide. We can’t risk tenant protections by letting them linger until the frenzied end of the legislation session, when they are on the verge of expiration. Join us today to help renew and improve rent regulation.
Community members and elected officials are furious that a report studying ways to fund Brooklyn Bridge Park’s massive maintenance budget may be leaving good cash on the table.
A consultant hired to search for revenue to maintain the park without building residences within its waterfront footprint released a draft report last month that predicted non-housing options could generate $2.5 million to $7 million — not even half of the ballooning $16-million maintenance budget.
The Emergency Tenant Protection Act, the state statute under which residential rent regulation in New York City is authorized, expires on June 15. Governor Cuomo’s Executive Budget amendments released earlier this month do not provide for its renewal. This is a matter of concern for many Brooklyn Heights residents who rent instead of own, including tenants in the Alfred T. White Riverside Apartments on Columbia Place between Joralemon and State streets. In response, State Senator Daniel Squadron has written a letter to the Governor urging his support for extension of ETPA, as well as measures to strengthen tenant protection, including the elimination of vacancy decontrol. His letter was signed by 23 other state senators, and by 63 members of the State Assembly, including Assembly Member Joan Millman. The full text of the letter follows the jump.
9:00p.m UpdatedALBANY — A coalition comprising nearly every Democratic state lawmaker from New York City urged Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in a letter, posted below, on Wednesday to press for extending and tightening the state’s rent regulation laws as part of the budget deal he is negotiating with the Legislature.
“If the state does not act, millions of working- and middle-class New Yorkers will be at immediate risk of losing their homes,” warned the lawmakers, about 90 of whom signed the letter to Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat. “We ask that you act boldly on tenants’ behalf by requiring these reforms to be a part of any budget agreement.”
Leguislative Gazette by Simon Garron-Caine April 11, 2011 In the face of two recent tragedies, the Assembly passed a bill April 4 that would create a regulatory system for intercity buses operating out of New York City. "As last month's tragic crash in the Bronx made clear, it is past time to impose reasonable regulations on the discount bus industry. Today's unregulated environment is like the wild west, and that doesn't work for bus companies, passengers or the community," said Sen. Daniel Squadron, D-Carroll Gardens, who sponsors the bill (S.2977/A.4578). The bill is sponsored in the Assembly by Speaker Sheldon Silver, D-Manhattan, whose district serves as one of New York City's discount bus hubs.
For immediate release May 3, 2011 "The preliminary vote by the Rent Guidelines Board to increase rents by up to nine percent is nearly unprecedented and will make a tough time tougher for millions of tenants. It's another reminder that we need to renew and improve our rent laws now. We must end vacancy decontrol, fight fraud and abuse in so-called '1/40th' individual apartment increases and close loopholes that allow landlords to evict entire buildings for 'personal use.' We can’t risk tenant protections by letting them linger until the frenzied end of the legislation session, when they are on the verge of expiration. It is time to extend and improve the rent laws now, to avoid the devastation and chaos that would result if the laws expired."
Senate Democrats have released a video urging their chamber to extend and strengthen the existing rent regulation laws, which will expire June 15. The bill has passed in the Assembly, but the Senate, where Republicans hold a slim majority, is pushing for a property tax cap first.