Keeping New York City Affordable
In helping New Yorkers to confront the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, Bill Thompson has drawn upon a long career working to make our city more affordable for average New Yorkers. Thompson took on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority repeatedly to protest rising fare hikes. He challenged the New York City Water Board to slow the skyrocketing growth in water rates. He spoke out in opposition to damaging new taxes. And he created more units of affordable housing than any Comptroller in New York City’s history.
Highlights of Thompson’s work to keep New York City affordable include:Housing
- As the chief investment adviser to the five New York City Pension Funds, Thompson teamed up with multiple investors to finance the construction and preservation of over 43,000 units of affordable housing throughout New York City.
- Working with Mayor Bloomberg, Thompson helped create the New York City Housing Trust Fund—financed by $130 million in Battery Park City Authority revenues—with a goal of creating or preserving 4,500 units of affordable housing.
- As Comptroller, Thompson was one of our city’s most vocal advocates for ensuring that New York City gets its fair share of transit dollars. He identified more than $725 million that could be used to eliminate the 2008 and 2009 fare hikes.
- Thompson also proposed a weight-based auto surcharge designed to generate annual revenue of approximately $1 billion. Such additional revenue would help close the current MTA budget gap and help fund the agency’s vital 2010-2014 capital program.
- After an 11.5 percent water rate increase in 2007, the City’s Water Board voted to raise rates by another 14.5 percent in 2008. Thompson consistently challenged the necessity of these drastic increases.
- Thompson offered a long-range proposal to the New York City Water Board that could have generated over $277 million in savings over four years and led to lower charges for ratepayers and long-term savings on infrastructure improvements.
- At a time when more New Yorkers felt the pinch of rising costs, Bill Thompson understood that taxes must be kept under control. In January 2006, Thompson called for an end to the New York State tax on clothing and footwear purchases under $110.