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John Liu Talks Barclays Center at CB8 Meeting

NYC comptroller talks about need for enforcement mechanisms for Atlantic Yards promises and ways to spread the wealth.

 

New York City Comptroller John Liu made a visit to Thursday night's Community Board 8 meeting.

Liu is a likely candidate in the 2013 race for mayor, although a federal investigation into his campaign finances has slowed his momentum.

At Thursday’s community board meeting at Concern for Independent Living,  
151 Rochester Ave. at St. Marks Avenue, Liu said the city should prioritize reducing the economic disparity in the city by increasing the city income tax on the top 1 percent by 1 percent. He said the change would result in between a quarter billion and $1 billion increase in tax dollars.

He also said the city should stop “giving hundreds of millions of dollars in subsidies to businesses that promised to create jobs that never materialized.”

Asked if his office could get back some of the subsidies given to Atlantic Yards developer Forest City Ratner, Liu said no.

“My office does not have the power to recover the funds. In the audit process we show exactly what happened. It is up to the mayor’s office to claw back (recover the funds).”

After the meeting Patch asked Liu it he were mayor, what would he would do about Forest City Ratner’s failure to live up to the community benefits agreement he signed when receiving the subsidies.

He replied that as mayor there wouldn’t be much he could do.

“There is not enough of an enforcement mechanism to ensure that the private developers have in fact lived up to their promises,” he said.

My report that was issued by the task force that I convened, issued some specific legislative remedies. Now as comptroller, I don’t have the wherewithal to pass legislation and if the legislative bodies felt that it was important they can take up these proposals and look at them on the merits. I’m ready, willing and able to discuss the pros and cons of all these changes.” 

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