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Plan to Tax Properties Near Hudson River Park Set for Public Review

By Mathew Katz | November 12, 2012 12:03pm

MANHATTAN — With a campaign to implement a new tax on neighbors to fund upkeep of the popular park space stretching along the West Side, the Friends of Hudson River Park has scheduled three public input meetings in the hopes of gaining support for the proposal.

The plan, known as the Hudson River Park Neighborhood Improvement District, would tax properties up to three blocks away from the waterside park, located roughly between Chambers and West 59th streets, and as far east as Hudson Street in the Village and 10th Avenue in Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen.

The goal of the district is to generate roughly $10 million a year for the cash-strapped park, which receives no public funding. The funding would go toward park capital costs, along with projects that would help residents cross the West Side Highway to get to the park.

The money would also go to help repair the sinking Pier 40, which only has a few years left before it will have to be closed down if left untouched, officials said.

The meetings are part of a sustained push for the new tax, which also includes a new web page, online petition and Facebook group.

The upcoming public meetings will be held in Chelsea, the West Village and lower Manhattan, the neighborhoods that would be most affected under the plan.

The first meeting will take place on Nov. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the Villager Community School, 272 W. 10th St. The second meeting is on Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fulton Auditorium, 119 Ninth Ave. The third meeting is on Dec. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Borough of Manhattan Community College, 199 Chambers St.