Saturday, May 4, 2013

Save Hudson River Park the Right Way

Everyone wants Hudson River Park to say safe and clean, but HRP has overspent its budget and is in financial trouble. Now HRP bigwigs want to bend the Business Improvement District (BID) law to impose a new tax on local residents and businesses to bail out the Park.

What should be done?

Hudson River Park Says
Neighbors Against the NID Says
HRP gets no government funding because the HRP Act says it should be self-supporting
The Act also says, "Additional funding by the state and the city may be allocated as necessary to meet the costs of operating and maintaining the park"
Distort the BID law to create a "Neighborhood Improvement District" ("NID")
It's a blatant abuse of the BID law, will make it harder for local businesses to create a real BID if they need one, and needs to be stopped!
Use the "NID" BID to impose a new tax on homes and businesses within 1/3 mile of the Park, from Murray to West 59th
Parks are a public good and should be funded with general tax revenues, not privately controlled slush funds
60% of the money will support the Park
Maybe. The BID Plan allows the BID to hold the money indefinitely in a reserve fund and promises that debt service will take precedence over all other budget items
The other 40% will go to improving Park access and safety and maintaining the highway medians
The BID Plan also call for a W. 50s pedestrian bridge (paid for by debt!), overhead for staff and office space, and NID-branded and controlled street vendor stands, newsstands and pay phones (aka advertising space!) on our streets
Property values are up because of the HRP; therefore we should "give back"
Increases are already captured in higher property taxes; our properties were hard hit by Sandy
It's the best and only way to help HRP
Better solutions  exist: Conservancy model (e.g. Central Park), robust private fundraising (e.g. High Line), and renewed pressure on City and State for proper funding

Look around to learn more. If you agree that the BID idea should be stopped, make sure you sign out Petition (click on the Sign Our Petition tab above to get there).

This table is from our newest flyer, which you can get here.

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