Mayor Michael Bloomberg fired a subliminal shot at Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, a Democratic candidate for mayor, for releasing a report that accused the mayor and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for systematically targeting small businesses in the outer boroughs and levying onerous fines against them.
“The world is not as simple as a campaign, and it’s not true just to this campaign, it’s all campaigns,” Bloomberg said on his weekly radio appearance this morning on the John Gambling Show. “It’s not as simple as campaign speeches would make it or people debating would make it. If there were simple solutions to complex problems, we would have solved them a long time ago.”
Bloomberg said that the small business inspections are “designed to keep you safe,” and explained that the number of violations found outside of Manhattan is because there are disproportionately more small businesses in the outer boroughs. He added that fines are still preferable to raising taxes.
“Well, the fines are just a replacement of taxes,” he said. “If you didn’t have the fines, you’d have to raise taxes. So it’s the same money. Nobody wants to raise taxes. Fines are a lot better than taxes because taxes you can’t avoid.”
In response to the mayor’s comments, de Blasio reiterated his view, supported by the findings in his report, that Bloomberg is favoring big businesses at the expense of smaller businesses.
“Numbers don’t lie,” de Blasio said in a statement. “The mayor is pummeling outer borough small businesses to pad the city’s coffers while he coddles his big business pals.”