June 1 (Reuters) - A New York state judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking New York City from selling $1 billion worth of taxi medallions and blowing a hole in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s $68.7 billion budget plan.
The mayor got the state to approve his plan to sell 2,000 more medallions along with 18,000 licenses to drivers who would serve the city’s outer boroughs after the Democrat-led City Council rejected the proposal.
But State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron ruled in favor o f the taxi cab owners who sued, saying in his decision:
“The Court has trouble seeing how the provision of taxi service in New York City is a matter that can be wrenched from the hands of City government, where it has resided for 75 years, and handed over to the State.”
Michael Cardozo, the city’s corporation counsel, in a statement, said he was considering an appeal of the decision. “We think the court was mistaken in its analysis.”
New York City’s new budget starts on July 1, and fiscal monitors have warned that Bloomberg’s medallion plan was a risky way to balance the budget. (Reporting by Joan Gralla; editing by Todd Eastham)