Despite some evidence suggesting that Michael Bloomberg doesn’t have the authority to stop the $400 property-tax rebate checks from going out, the mayor told reporters this afternoon that the issue is fiscal, not legal.
Speaking at a press conference in Brooklyn, Bloomberg said, “Obviously we aren’t going to send out checks when we don’t have the money for the moment.”
When asked how he would withhold the money if the City Council were to vote to send the rebate out, Bloomberg said, “Well, we issue the checks.”
He added, “This is not something that is going to be decided by litigation. This is going to be decided by the fiscal realities of us taking a look at all the alternatives as the economy develops. And sadly, there are no good, easy answers.”
Critics of his plan to rescind the checks, which total about $256 million, said they’ll sue to force the mayor to release the money.
Bloomberg is still arguing that he has the power to determine whether or not the rebate checks are sent out, but for the first time, he seems to be acknowledging that they might have to go out anyway.