NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio has vowed to fight the “landlord lobby” after an appeals court put the brakes on his plan to give homeowners some relief on their water bills.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, de Blasio has two strikes against him in court – but he is not ready to pick up his bats and go home. He is ready to take another swing at the state’s highest court to give the owners of one, two, and three-family homes some relief on their water bills.READ MORE: New Jersey Senator Says COVID Survivors Should Enjoy Same Benefits As Fully Vaccinated People
“The ball game ain’t over until all nine innings have been played,” de Blasio said.
The mayor faces formidable odds in his quest to give 644,000 homeowners a $183 credit on their water bills.
The lower court sided with the Rent Stabilization Association, a landlord group. So did the Appellate Division, which in a 4-1 ruling said the city had “no rational basis” for giving homeowners the credit while renters, co-op and condo owners, small businesses and commercial customers were left out.
Staten Island homeowners Caryn Davis and Richard Roth joined the mayor to say they need the $183.READ MORE: Hispanic Heritage Month: Port Chester Is Westchester County's First Majority-Hispanic Municipality
“Our situation is similar to millions of New Yorkers on Staten Island and in all the other boroughs,” Davis said.
“The $183 credit that the Water Board is trying to give us would have gone a long way to help out with a lot of different things, you know, maybe some other bills,” added Roth. “The fact that there are people fighting to keep this from us is absolutely ridiculous. I mean, you know, we’re the heart and soul of the city.”
But landlords said if the mayor is seeking fairness, especially since this is an election year, he should give the credit to everyone who uses the city’s water.
“We’re very confident that we’re going to defeat the mayor in the higher level court,” said Vito Signorile of the Rent Stabilization Association.
The landlords are also in court fighting the mayor and the Rent Guidelines Board for freezing rents in each of the last two years.MORE NEWS: De Blasio Says NYC Ready To Administer COVID Vaccine Booster Shots Once FDA Approved
Because the Appellate Division’s ruling is overwhelmingly in favor of the landlords, the city has to get its approval in order to appeal to a higher court.