Today’s news:

Mayor to send out property tax rebates but enact 7 percent increase

Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced last week that $400 rebate checks for property owners would finally be sent out this week after he previously said he would halt the checks to save the city money amid the economic downturn.

The mayor had said that stopping the checks for an estimated 600,000 city residents would save the city $256 million.

But a mayoral spokesman said residents would receive their checks in early January.

“The $400 property tax rebate will provide needed relief to homeowners who are experiencing tough times and hopefully it will inject more than $250 million into the city’s economy,” the mayor said.

The City Council also voted 33−18 in favor of the mayor’s plan to raise the city property tax rate by 7 percent.

“We’re getting the rebate,” said Councilman Tony Avella (D−Bayside). “But the mayor giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other.”

Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D−Astoria) said many residents would use their checks to pay off the 7 percent increase.

— Nathan Duke

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