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NEW YORK CITY-The New York City chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association International has come out swinging against the largest property tax increase in New York City history, signed this morning by mayor Michael Bloomberg. BOMA/NY says that while decreasing the originally proposed tax hike from 25% to 18.5% is a move in the right direction, the ramifications to the commercial building industry will still be devastating and the organization wants the administration to explore other revenue-producing measures before raising taxes.

“[The increase] is an extraordinarily heavy burden to place on an economic group that is still dealing with the aftermath of 9/11, as well as increasing vacancies and decreasing rentals,” states BOMA/NY president Vincent Fantauzzi. “Higher taxes will not encourage the private investment that is necessary for our City to thrive.

Fantauzzi urges Bloomberg to use his much-touted business acumen to develop “a tax program that brings business in, not drives it away. With such a successful businessman now in City Hall, we urge him to use the creative thinking that business engenders to keep our City healthy.”

BOMA/NY also offers to participate in a voluntary commission to “search out ways to reduce costs without loss of services by identifying inefficiencies and duplication of effort, and devising ways to collect outstanding or uncollected revenue.”

But while he says BOMA is committed to working with the Bloomberg administration in identifying and creating revenue to bridge the city’s projected $6.4 billion budget gap, Fantauzzi insists the organization is not prepared to accept the property tax legislation without a fight. We are not accepting the 18% increase as the final word in tax cuts,” he says, “and are committed to working in concert with our industry in an effort to roll back this tax increase.”

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