Following up on complaints from constituents in January, Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) announced Friday he has introduced legislation that will force city agencies to maintain a mailing address in one of the five boroughs.
Halloran sponsored the bill after discovering that several city agencies, such as the Water Board and Department of Finance, require taxpayers to send their payments to post office boxes in Newark, NJ and Pittsburgh.
“We have a responsibility to keep jobs in our city,” Halloran said. “When mail gets sent to boxes outside New York, we take jobs away from New Yorkers. Money is sapped from our tax base and ends up in banks in Pittsburgh, Newark and who knows where else. This bill will keep New York City P.O. boxes right here in New York City, where they belong.”
He explained that the post office boxes were outsourced at the whim of contractors, who decided to move their mailing addresses, leaving the city without recourse. Under Halloran’s bill, contractors will still be free to have out-of-city mailing addresses, but will be required to keep the actual billing addresses in the city.
Halloran added that the cost to the city will be negligible and that the legislation will give contractors the incentive needed to keep the address local.
“Out-of-state addresses are needlessly confusing,” the councilman said. “People shouldn’t worry that their city bills are letters from Nigerian princes.”
He noted that some constituents, especially seniors, were confused by the mailing addresses and some thought it was a scam.
Halloran is also pushing for the state to enact a similar law. He indicated that state or city contractors receiving mail on behalf of either governmental entity should have the same requirement as his proposed legislation.
“This should be standard language in every contract,” Halloran said. “Aside from the obvious benefits, this will increase conveniences and speed of processing, making our government leaner and saving the taxpayers’ money.”
In January, the city councilman held a press conference outside the postal processing center in Whitestone, complaining about the out-of-state addresses used to collect taxes and for other mailings.
He was supported by Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) and Stephen Larkin, executive vice president of the Flushing branch of the American Postal Workers Union.