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Homeowners warned about heavier taxes - Mayor, City Council could amend summer’s budget, Fidler tells Marine Park

Brooklyn homeowners take note – your property taxes could soon increase.

That’s was the “doom and gloom” warning from City Councilmember Lew Fidler at last week’s meeting of the Marine Park Civic Association.

Fidler explained that with the economy in disarray, the City Council and Mayor Michael Bloomberg could amend the current fiscal budget that was passed this summer to include new tax hikes.

However, if that happens, Fidler wants the increases to impact not just one area but several. For instance, he said, increasing taxes for millionaires and the hotel tax for tourists.

“The very last resort,” Fidler said, “will be the property tax.”

“I want to be sure that we do everything we possibly can before we reach into your pocket,” he said.

If Wall Street continues to falter, City Council members might opt for lowering budgets for a variety of programs.

“Some of us have talked about ‘sharing our pain,’ which is cutting our spending,” Fidler said.

“I would not want to see, ‘let’s solve this problem by raising the property tax period.’ That’s unfair. It’s unfair to lay this burden on one group of people,” he noted.

But if property taxes are ultimately raised this year or the next, Brooklyn homeowners wouldn’t take it lightly.

“I feel that if it goes up every single year, when are we going to get a break?” asked Marine Park Civic President Greg Borruso.

“You have to pay it. It’s not like you cannot pay it,” he continued. “There’s no more vacation money left over, there’s no money to go out to dinner. It’s going to take a burden on everybody.”

Fidler said there’s a good chance that property taxes will remain as is.

“In the last three or four years we’ve been running surpluses,” he explained. “So even though this economy is bad right now, we might be able to get through this fiscal year because we have planned for it appropriately.”

“The stock market could rebound in two weeks. The economy could all of a sudden surge,” he continued. “I don’t have a crystal ball right now.”

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