Foes decry Park ‘tax’ scheme, push for revenue from Witness buildings

Daniel L. Squadron

February 23, 2011

By Laura Gottesdiener

The Brooklyn Paper

 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.

But the scheme — called a “Park Improvement District” — is so unpopular that before the ink dried on the study, the proposal was already being blasted as “insulting” and “a scare tactic.”

“The Park Improvement District they proposed is not going to happen,” said state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D–Brooklyn Heights). “There are viable alternatives to the current plan” to include housing in the park.

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