City must issue biz stimulus plan

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In your Jan. 15 editorial “Blame the Council,” TimesLedger Newspapers chastised the City Council for not having the courage to withhold the $400 tax rebate checks in light of the troubled economy and the city’s dire financial condition.

There are valid arguments on both sides of this issue and, as an accountant, I am aware struggling homeowners and taxpayers view even meager tax relief as a godsend. As a Council candidate for the seat currently held by David Weprin (D−Hollis), I have always tried to find innovative ideas and creative solutions to problems confronting us.

To bridge the gap between those who opposed issuing the rebate checks and those who demanded they be issued, my solution as a member of the Council would have been a win−win for all. Rather than issuing a $400 rebate check, the city should have issued $400 stimulus certificates for exclusive use at city businesses. To sweeten the deal, the city could have also exempted the sales tax from any such purchase, giving the $400 even greater value.

This would have energized many businesses to offer discounts, much to the delight of shoppers, as vendors would seek to entice them to spend those certificates at their local businesses. Whether it was a restaurant, clothing store or mom & pop shop, these certificates would have injected an immediate boost into the city economy.

Not only would this benefit local commerce, but the city would only have had to pay out the money when it was actually used. My gap bridging idea would be good for business, consumers and the city, as it would also generate ancillary tax revenues.

Bob Friedrich


23rd Council District

Glen Oaks Village

Updated 6:33 pm, October 10, 2011
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