City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito failed to disclose $92G in rental income to city

She releases her federal tax forms saying she reported to the IRS every dime in rent she received on her East Harlem townhouse from 2009 through 2012. But she neglected to disclose this steady income on her Conflict of Interest Board forms during those years.

Melissa Mark-Viverito did not report any rental income to the Internal Revenue Service on two condos in which she has a 33% stake in Puerto Rico.

Melissa Mark-Viverito did not report any rental income to the Internal Revenue Service on two condos in which she has a 33% stake in Puerto Rico.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito failed to report $92,600 in rental income from her East Harlem townhouse on city disclosure forms, she admitted in documents released late Friday.

Mark-Viverito for the first time released her federal tax forms and said she reported to the taxman every dime in rent she received on the townhouse from 2009 through 2012.

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But she neglected to disclose this steady stream of income on her Conflict of Interest Board forms — which are public documents — during those years.

Her spokesman, Eric Koch, declined to explain the omission, stating in a terse email that the forms “show she paid taxes on the rental income on her property.”

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Mark-Viverito did not report any rental income to the Internal Revenue Service on two condos in which she has a 33% stake in Puerto Rico.

Late Friday, the real estate website Zillow listed one of those properties as a hot rental, stating, “The building generates $104,000 of income annually.”

RELATED: NYC COUNCIL SPEAKER HOPEFUL HASN’T REPORTED RENT INCOME

Mark-Viverito’s spokesman, Koch, said she received no income from the Puerto Rican properties.

The News raised questions last week — before Mark-Viverito was elected speaker — about rental income at her East Harlem home after discovering several individuals registered to vote at her address.

RELATED: MARK-VIVERITO ELECTED SPEAKER AFTER FIERCE

She admitted she hadn’t revealed rental income there on her city disclosure forms but declined to release her tax forms or provide details on her tenants and how much rent they pay.

In releasing her tax forms Friday, Mark-Viverito continued to refuse to answer those questions about her tenants.

RELATED: MARK-VIVERITO FAILS TO RELEASE TAX RETURNS ON EVE OF SPEAKER VOTE

The law requires some 8,000 city employees to report any outside income to the COIB to ensure transparency in city government.

Records show that in 2007 and 2008, Mark-Viverito reported her rental income on her city disclosure forms, but that income disappeared from the forms between 2009 and 2012.

RELATED: SPEAKER VOTE REPRESENTS VICTORY FOR DE BLASIO’S AGENDA

Each year she reported to the IRS that she received between $20,200 and $29,200 in rent on the “apartment portion” of her E. 111th St. townhouse.

She bought the home in 1998 under a program meant to encourage home ownership for lower-income New Yorkers. She was approved for a no-interest city subsidized mortgage and she got a property tax break that continues each year.

RELATED: GONZALEZ: CITY COUNCIL IS BREAKING NEW GROUND WITH MARK-VIVERITO

gsmith@nydailynews.com

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-council-speaker-failed-disclose-92g-rental-income-city-article-1.1576136#ixzz2q6cCILAf

If Park Slope gets a bike lane, why not East Harlem?

City Council member says poor and minority communities deserve the same amenities

Kathy Willens/AP The Prospect Park West bike lane.

In October, Manhattan Community Board 11’s Transportation Committee and Full Board voted in support of protected bike lanes on First and Second Aves. from 96th to 125th Sts. Since then, a small group of local business owners has sought to stymie the process, peddling misinformation that has helped sway some community board members to vote to suspend support of the bike lanes pending further investigation.

This is bad news for East Harlem.

The addition of protected bike lanes — which have barriers to make riding safer for cyclists and drivers alike — is nothing short of a social and environmental justice issue. Until recently, nearly all of the proposed locations for these lanes were in primarily white and higher-income neighborhoods — from the East Village to Chelsea to the upper East Side to Park Slope.

But all along, communities of color like El Barrio/East Harlem have needed these lanes too. Despite the stereotype that bikes are mainly used by wealthier Manhattan residents and Brooklynites, my constituents want to bike to work and for recreation, too. They ought to be able to do so safely. And even those who don’t currently do so ought to be encouraged.

Protected bike lanes improve the overall health and safety of a community by encouraging a greener and healthier form of transit, creating islands to help pedestrians cross the street and adding left turn lanes to improve traffic flow. Our community has among the highest rates of asthma and obesity in New York City. Encouraging a culture of safe cycling on our city streets can only help reverse these trends.

Some local business owners are arguing that bike lanes will lead to an increase in car traffic and the emissions that come along with it; thus, they claim, the asthma rates will worsen.

They have it exactly wrong.

The pedestrian strips associated with bike lanes will be beautified with new trees, with each tree removing one year’s worth of car emissions from the air. Additionally, having fewer automobile lanes could reduce overall traffic in communities sandwiched between the FDR and these busy avenues. This is what experts call the “traffic calming effect” of bike lanes.

This gets to the heart of the issue: Some business owners believe that the decline in traffic and loss of parking spots under this plan will impede their ability to attract customers that drive to their businesses.

There are clearly a number of pressures on local businesses in my community, but it is hard to believe that bike lanes could make or break their ability to continue to turn a profit. In fact, the protected bike lanes have the potential to encourage cyclists from other neighborhoods to visit our community, try out the restaurants and check out the local stores and cultural attractions. This has been the result in other cities, where bike tourism has brought more affluent consumers to neighborhoods that they would not otherwise have visited were it not for convenient bike lanes.

The truth is that bike lanes make sense for El Barrio/East Harlem. We deserve the amenities that other communities take for granted as a way of improving the health of our community and encouraging a culture of cycling, particularly for our youth. These bike lanes are already working well in neighborhoods throughout Manhattan. We must not allow a vocal and self-interested minority to prevent these important transportation improvements from reaching our community.

Mark-Viverito is a councilwoman who represents parts of Harlem and the South Bronx.

By Melissa Mark-viverito / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS