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.
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“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.”
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.
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.
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.