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NEW YORK CITY-Residential property taxes will go up by 7% and the per-room hotel tax will temporarily increase by 0.875% after the City Council’s 33 to 18 vote Thursday to approve both increases. The two tax hikes are expected to bring in $650 million in revenue for the city.

Technically, the property tax increase rescinds an earlier 7% reduction in the tax rate. The average property tax increase citywide for a single-family home will be $118, while for co-ops with 10 or more units in the building, the average citywide increase will be $162, according to figures from the City Council. The hotel tax hike will average $3 per night.

“The economic crisis has forced all of us in government to reassess our priorities, so that we can balance the budget in the face of record revenue shortfalls,” says Speaker Christine C. Quinn in a statement. “By taking the responsible approach today, we can generate nearly three quarters of a billon dollars, money that will go to funding NYPD’s cadet classes and to employment programs and foreclosure prevention programs. These investments stand in stark contrast to decisions made in the wake of the fiscal crisis of 1975, when the city was forced to reduce the size of the police force by 20%.”

At the same time, the Bloomberg administration has agreed to mail out the annual property tax rebate of $400 per homeowner, as it has done since 2004. Mayor Michael Bloomberg had considered scrapping the rebate, but worked out an agreement with the council. In addition, the city will go ahead with hiring 250 police cadets in both the January and July 2009 classes, rather than canceling outright a class of 1,100 cadets.

“In a statement issued following the council vote, Bloomberg notes that when he initially proposed modifications to the municipal budget in November, the city’s financial outlook had taken a serious hit from the collapse of Wall Street and the national economic downturn. Unfortunately, the outlook has continued to deteriorate–making today’s action even more necessary. It’s never popular to phase out a tax cut or reduce agency spending, but they are the right choices to avoid far greater and longer lasting pain.”

Bloomberg adds, “We will not repeat the mistakes of the 1970s, which crippled the city’s finances and nearly destroyed our quality of life. We are taking steps to weather this storm so we can continue to keep our streets safe and clean, continue improving our schools and continue protecting seniors and the most vulnerable New Yorkers.”

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