Mayor-Elect de Blasio: Potential Rent Freeze and End to Stealth Water Taxes
In keeping with his pro-tenant, pro-affordable housing policies, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio has stated during his campaign that if he's elected, he would push hard for a rent freeze on stabilized apartments. It remains to be seen whether he’ll act on his statement.
A rent freeze hasn't happened in the 44-year history of the Rent Guidelines Board, a body of nine mayoral appointees that sets monthly rates for a million apartments. As the next mayor, de Blasio will have significant leverage over the rent board when he takes office on Jan. 1, with power to appoint four new members. He has stated that he would select what he described as pro-tenant, pro-stabilization board members.
In another issue affecting property owners, Mayor-elect de Blasio earlier this year stated, "For decades, the water system only charged customers what it needed to cover its costs. But now, anyone who pays a water bill is sending more and more of their money into the city's general budget. It's wrong and it has to stop."
Property owners will likely have to pay a still-unspecified water increase next summer in addition to the 5.6 percent hike that took effect this summer and the 7 percent hike that was put into effect the previous year. As public advocate, de Blasio has stated, "When the mayor says he hasn't raised taxes, he's really only talking about the taxes you can see. In truth, homeowners and businesses are getting socked again and again with hidden taxes like these water rate hikes.”