May 7, 1997

Statement from Governor George E. Pataki

Rent control is critically important to the people of New York City. Rent control must be preserved for all New Yorkers who need its protections. And it will be.

Majority Leader Bruno's and Speaker Silver's attempt to link rent control and property tax relief is not the right way. It divides New Yorkers by regions and I oppose that.

Senator Bruno is right when he says property tax relief is critically important for our hardworking middle-class, homeowner taxpayers. But that is a separate issue from the right of each tenant in New York City who needs rent control protection to be protected.

We must solve the rent control logjam by finding approaches that unite us, not engage in rhetoric that divides us.

The greatness of New York State is found in its diversity. We are not two separate states, upstate and downstate. We are one great melting pot, a state that its revival has become the envy of every other state in the nation.

We can continue to move forward by working together. That is how we achieved the largest tax cut in the nation, not just in 1995, but in 1996 and again this year. We did the right thing for New Yorkers by finding common ground. We must do the right thing again and we will.

Within the next week, I will offer a proposal that should move us forward, protecting every New York City tenant who should be protected while strengthening the system.

No New York City resident who needs protection should live in fear of losing their apartment or their rights and protections under rent control. No middle-class, hardworking New York City tenant should be held hostage to this debate.