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NY's top court to hear challenge to Bloomberg taxi plan

Taxis are reflected in a window in Times Square in New York December 17, 2012 REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Taxis are reflected in a window in Times Square in New York December 17, 2012 REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

By Daniel Wiessner

ALBANY, New York (Reuters) - The New York Court of Appeals has agreed to review a decision that blocked New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to raise over $1.4 billion by selling 2,000 new taxi medallions.

Three taxi groups in May sued to overturn the plan, saying it would destroy the livelihoods of thousands of drivers.

In August, the State Supreme Court's Acting Justice Arthur Engoron found that the Bloomberg administration violated the state constitution's "home rule" provisions by asking state lawmakers, instead of the City Council, to pass the taxi plan.

The Court of Appeals on Thursday released a letter dated December 14 in which Deputy Clerk Richard Reed said the court would hear the appeal in late April or early May.

In a rare move, the state's top court will hear the appeal directly, which means it will bypass the mid-level Appellate Division.

Bloomberg, a political independent, is relying on the sale of the new medallions to raise $635 million in 2013 - his last year in office - and more than $800 million in 2014 and 2015.

The attorneys involved were not immediately available for comment. A Bloomberg spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Dan Wiessner, desking by G Crosse)

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