April 11 Press Conference: City Rescinds Thousands in Illegal Chinatown ‘BID’ Fees After Property Owners Protest
Chinatown, NY — The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF),
the Property Tax Payers’ Association, and small property owners in Chinatown
will hold a press conference on Tuesday, April 10 in Chinatown to announce
that New York City’s Department of Finance and Department of Small Business
Services have admitted that property owners were wrongfully charged illegal
Business Improvement District (BID) fees.
After the City Council voted to increase Chinatown property fees by establishing
a BID over the protests of property owners already crippled by the current
recession, the Department of Finance held the same property owners responsible
for thousands of dollars in BID fees for months before it was even in place.
When AALDEF and the Property Tax Payers’ Association, a group formed to protect
the rights of small property owners in Chinatown, objected to the retroactive
fees, according to news reports at least one BID official claimed there was no
In response to the property owners’ persistent advocacy and AALDEF’s resolve to
take legal action on their behalf, the City has admitted that the fees were
wrongfully imposed, and will be issuing a reimbursement.
“We maintained from the start that the Chinatown property owners were being
charged unlawfully for the BID,” said Bethany Li, staff attorney at AALDEF.
“Because the property owners successfully stood up for themselves, the City
admitted its mistake. We’re glad that struggling small property and business
owners will not have to bear the burden of illegal, retroactive fees.”
PRESS CONFERENCE INFORMATION
Time: 11 am, Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Location: 19 Mott Street, New York, NY 10013
**Speakers: **Bethany Li, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund Jan Lee, Chinatown property owner