Yesterday, June 23rd, Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I,Ref – Brooklyn/Staten Island) hosted a protest in New Dorp Beach criticizing City Hall for an unjust property tax system that disproportionately burdens Staten Island residents.
“Today, Staten Islanders from across the borough stood up and sent the Mayor a loud and clear message: hardworking, middle-class homeowners are not ATMS for City Hall to shake down for the Mayor’s liberal agenda,” said Assemblywoman Malliotakis.
The Assemblywoman’s protest, which was attended by over 200 residents, focused on three main issues: rapidly rising property taxes, the flagrant inequities in New York City’s current property tax system, and Mayor de Blasio’s newly-announced property tax commission, which was originally formed without a Staten Island representative.
“Staten Islanders pay an effective tax rate of 1.05% that is triple the amount paid by other communities, including Mayor de Blasio’s neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn, which pays a tax rate of just .32%. Why should Staten Islanders pay a higher rate than the Mayor pays on his chic park slope brownstone?”
Malliotakis also noted that this would have been the ideal year to offer families relief, as the city received an unanticipated $4 billion tax windfall from investors who cashed in on investments following the passage of President Trump’s tax plan.
“The City received a $4 billion windfall and instead of freezing property taxes that make housing so unaffordable for both owners and renters, the city took the money and spent it and then raised the property tax levy another $2 billion on top of it,” said Malliotakis.
The levy, which is the amount of money the city seeks from property tax payers, has increased from $20 billion to 27 billion since 2013 and the City Council voted to increase it to $29 billion last week.
Malliotakis was joined by other elected officials, over-taxed residents of the forgotten borough, as well as community advocates and civic leaders from Brooklyn and Queens, who called on Mayor de Blasio to cap the property tax levy, which has increased 44% since 2013, and stop the disparity that has communities like ours paying three times as much as others.
The residents also gave the Assemblywoman praise for shedding light on the lack of a Staten Island voice on the commission, which led to the Mayor reversing course and appointing long-time Staten Island transit advocate Allen Cappelli to the commission yesterday. “This is great for Staten Island; I respect Allen very much and I do believe he was a fair pick,” Malliotakis said.
Malliotakis called for the addition of a Staten Islander to the commission last month in an op-ed to the Staten Island Advance, and Mr. Cappelli also recently headlined a transportation forum at Staten Island University Hospital hosted by the Assemblywoman.