Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is finding that her priorities are quite different from those of erstwhile New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg is furious about the $260 million that change has cost the city.
Under Clinton, the state department has reversed a longtime policy that required foreign governments to pay taxes on some diplomatic residences – just after the city recently won a federal court ruling requiring India and Mongolia to shell out $46 million in back taxes.
"This is just absolutely wrong," said Bloomberg in response to the news, reported the New York Post.
The policy, which was changed on June 23, also came after the Hungarian government wrote the city saying it was prepared to clear up its old tax debt totaling $32.5 million for its consulate on 52nd Street.
Hungary had pledged to feed the tax man by July 1, but after the State Dept.’s ruling they said they wouldn’t be paying anything, the Post reported.
"[Hungary] had already drafted the check, then the State Department said, 'don't send it,' " said Bloomberg.
As senator, Clinton had repeatedly spoken out in favor of the city's right to collect the taxes. The $260 million figure represents the total amount in back taxes by all foreign countries.
"Why all of a sudden they are not [allowing the taxation], I have absolutely no idea," he said.
Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary of state management, told the paper the policy change came about because other counties don’t apply taxes on U.S. properties.
"My hope is that we can work with Hillary Clinton and find ways around this problem," Bloomberg said.