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'Call up and be heard', phone rally on June 12.

TAX HIKE FIGHT

|Call up and be heard', phone rally on June 12

On June 12, telephones should be ringing off the hook at the mayor's office and the city council as members of New York City's real estate and business communities stage a phone rally to protest property tax increases up to 25 percent that are part of the mayor's proposed 1991/92 budget.

The telephone drive is part of the campaign being waged by Taxpayers for an Affordable New York, the "grassroots" organization comprised of realtors, apartment unit owners, business people and homeowners. The on-going efforts of the group, confounded by the Real Estate Board of New York and the Rent Stabilization Association, have included a post-card campaign, a major advertising campaign, and public demonstrations. The group's main slogan is "I won't take a hike", denoting the objection to the increases and their refusal to be forced out of the city by runaway tax hikes.

The Real Estate Board of New York and other organizations are urging all members, their staffs and their commercial tenants to call the mayor's office (212)788-3000 and the City Council (212)566-5068. REBNY President Steven Spinola said callers should leave a message for either Mayor Dinkins or the Speaker of the Council Peter Vallone simply stating they object to the onerous increases that are proposed and that they think the "waste and inefficiency in government" should be eliminated. "The message can be as short as I'm not taking a hike," said Spinola. "And you can trust they'll know what that means."

Spinola said he expects the amount of calls to be impressive. "We hear they're receiving thousands of post-cards and we hope on that day they'll be receiving thousands of calls."

The idea for the phone push, Spinola said, actually came from the mayor himself. When Dinkins was supporting passage of the Brady Bill, designed to restrict the purchase of handguns in the nation, he gave out the phone number of the Speaker of the House of Representatives Tom Foley. Spinola said the phone calls are also an efficient method for those who are too busy to attend any of the public protests.

Through a series of tax increases proposed in Dinkins budget, owners of all classes in New York City face between 15 percent and 25 percent increases. The higher taxes will impact businesses in the city also. Class IV, commercial, and Class II, multi-family and co-op and condo unit, owners face face higher taxes around 20 percent and Class I, homeowners, are looking at roughly 25 percent. ccording to Taxpayers for an Affordable New York, a report indicates the increase could result in the loss of as many as 26,000 jobs in the next year alone.

The City Council, who will vote on the mayor's budget at the end of this month, has said they will seek to reduce the mayor's property tax plan by as much as half. A spokesperson for the City Council said they are aware of the June 12 blitz.

"Callers should be aware that the council is on record that they are not about to adopt a budget that would raise a level of taxes that would wreck the economy or approve cuts that decimate essential services," said the spokesperson. "We fully understand the need to maintain our taxpayer base and we're not about to drive out those who bear the freight."

Similarly, the Mayor's Action Center is prepared to register the callers' complaints. "That's what we're here for," said one operator. "That's been our job for years."
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Title Annotation:protest property tax increases
Author:Fitzgerald, Therese
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 5, 1991
Words:594
Previous Article:NYC Tax Commission under fire.
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