The City Council passed a resolution Wednesday asking the State Legislature to eliminate a property tax exemption for Madison Square Garden.
The resolution, which passed 43-5, backs bills introduced in Albany by Assemb. David Weprin (D-Queens) and state Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island).
Councilman Corey Johnson (D-Manhattan), a co-sponsor, said the financial success of the Knicks and Rangers demonstrates the arena no longer needs "special preferential treatment." He said the funds can go toward police and other city services.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Queens) voted no, saying she supports "something in between" such as a limited tax abatement. "We've always encouraged economic development through incentives," she said.
Madison Square Garden this year got $17 million in tax breaks. The city's Independent Budget Office estimated that next year, the exemption may be worth $54 million, thanks to higher market value since the arena's self-funded $1 billion renovation. State officials began granting the Garden tax breaks in 1982, when it threatened to move its teams from the city.
MSG spokeswoman Kimberly Kerns said Yankee Stadium, Citi Field and Barclays Center also get breaks from the city.
"Madison Square Garden is a vital driver of the city's economy, supporting thousands of jobs and hosting approximately 400 annual events that attract 4 million people to the heart of New York City," she said in a statement.
The council passed a similar resolution in 2008, but the effort died in Albany.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) opposes eliminating the tax break, said spokesman Michael Whyland. A call to the office of State Senate co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) was not returned, but he has taken the same position.
The Dolan family owns controlling interests in MSG and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.