Tags: bloomberg | hillary | flip

Bloomberg Accuses Hillary of 'Double Flip-Flop'

Monday, 13 Jul 2009 10:17 PM

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg lashed out at Hillary Clinton Monday, saying her betrayal has cost the city $260 million in lost tax revenues and counting.

How? Six months into her tenure as secretary of state she has suddenly exempted diplomats from paying some property taxes here, according to the mayor.

"It is totally unfair," Bloomberg said, according to CBS-2, a NYC affiliate.

Bloomberg was enraged because the Hungarian mission had already written a check for $32 million when the State Department told them to cancel it. The mayor also complained that the State Department owes the city $66 million for providing police security for United Nations missions.

Bloomberg called Clinton’s change of heart more than a simple double cross. He said it was a double flip flop. As New York's junior senator, Clinton fought to make diplomats pay up. Her reversal changes a longstanding policy, Bloomberg said.

"Since 1873 they've been saying this is taxable," Bloomberg said, CBS-2 reported.

Freed of paying property taxes, Bloomberg said, some governments would see it as a business opportunity to buy up properties and make money renting them out.

"It's just patently unfair to New Yorkers and Americans and it contravenes established policy for 130-odd years and it just doesn't make sense," Bloomberg said.

The State Department said it changed the policy because other countries were threatening to charge property taxes on U.S. property overseas, CBS-2 reported.

"This was a decision made by the Department in the best interest of the United States -- its foreign policy and its taxpayers -- as both were jeopardized by foreign governments considering or already taking reciprocal action," said Fred Lash, press officer for State Department.

The secretary of state now finds herself in the unenviable position of coping with the formidable might of Sen. Chuck Schumer.

"We're going to find a way to make sure that these embassies pay and that New York is made whole," Schumer said.

The mayor was especially upset because the Hungarian mission had already written a check for $32 million when the State Department told them to cancel it.

The mayor also complained that the State Department owes the city $66 million for providing police security for United Nations missions.

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