2001-01-27 / Letters

Finding The Truth

Dear Editor;

Recently a letter about Dayton Seaside to a bankruptcy judge was posted on SHAFT, bulletin boards at two Dayton Seaside buildings. The judge could not consider this letter from Congressman Weiner, Assemblywoman Pheffer and State Senator Smith, but you would not know this from the SHAFT posting. It is highly improper to send a letter to a judge that does not give the other side the chance to reply. But in this Dayton Seaside ordeal, unhappily, officials have been making very serious charges and either allow for no reply or indicate no interest in reply, so it would appear.

There was, however, one indication of truth in the otherwise largely untrue letter by Congressman Weiner, Assemblywoman Pheffer and State Senator Smith—carrying the date December 7 almost as a mark of Cain; the City of New York apparently has yet to implement the nine-year statutory transition from the end of partial tax exemption to full taxes. But this truthful indication in the December 7 letter raises questions about claims from the city that the exemption had ended and the transition to full taxes implemented and completed at two of the three Dayton Seaside buildings. Sadly, Congressman Weiner, Assemblywoman Pheffer and State Senator Smith, it seems were more interested in scapegoating the Dayton Seaside owners than in learning and disclosing the facts of this property tax ordeal that has been the barrier to renovation of the exteriors at these buildings.

And if the three legislators had been in intent in seeking out the facts they would have found, I believe, that the City of New York specifically directed HUD to take the tax escrow at the buildings, from 1985 to July 1, 1995, and pay taxes due after July 1, 1995 with these monies—not the taxes from 1985 to July 1, 1995. That is to say, the City of New York has been clubbing the Dayton Seaside owners for not paying the taxes that the city instructed HUD not to pay, while those taxes from 1985 to July 1, 1995 we’re "under negotiation," according to a letter from HUD dated July 24, 1996.

There has yet to be a denial to my mailbag letter on Dayton Seaside from any official. Will any official deny the facts here stated? If so—when and how?

DAVID R. ZUKERMAN


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