The $400 Question
December 3rd, 2008
Nothing is final, but the papers today offer speculation about a deal that could release the $400 property-tax rebate checks. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has refused to mail out the checks, even though members of administration concede that he needs City Council approval to cancel the rebates.
The Staten Island Advance reports today that “several City Hall insiders” believe Bloomberg “won’t be able to keep up his defiant stance on holding the $400 property tax rebates much longer.”
In a similar vein, quoting “sources,” the Post says, “Aides to Mayor Bloomberg have told City Council members that City Hall is ready to send out long-delayed property-tax rebate checks this month in time for the holiday shopping season.”
As the shopping days until Christmas tick down, two other deadlines loom. The administration must appear in court next week to respond to a lawsuit filed by several City Council members seeking release of the checks. And City Council has only two more meetings this year to vote on the mayor’s proposed budget modification (see related story). At least one council member, Vincent Ignizio of Staten Island, thinks the rebate issue must be settled before talks can begin on the mayor’s suggested cuts. “I am not going to engage in negotiations until the checks are in the mail, or off the negotiating table,” he told the Advance.By Gail Robinson on December 3, 2008, 9:49 am
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