Queens County Politics April 30, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Meng Amendments Reduces Airplane Noise In Queens

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng

U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Bayside, Flushing, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Fresh Meadows, Glendale, Kew Gardens, Maspeth) announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act the House passed Friday includes several provisions she authored, including measures aimed at reducing excessive airplane noise over Queens and other impacted communities

Meng’s provisions include the phase II authorization of the FAA Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise Program (CLEEN 2), an initiative to develop technologies that reduce aircraft noise. Under the program, the FAA, in partnership with private industry, will work to create new aircraft and engine technologies that are quieter, and produce less noise. The program also seeks to develop alternative jet fuels to reduce fuel emissions and improve fuel efficiency. The goal is to have these improved technologies introduced to commercial aircrafts by 2026.

The FAA bill also includes a provision that sets a deadline for the FAA to develop new methods of measuring aircraft noise. Last month, Meng and New York members of the Quiet Skies Caucus passed legislation into law that directs the FAA to continue evaluating alternative metrics to the Day-Night Average Sound Level (DNL) 65, the current national standard at which the agency determines acceptable levels of aircraft noise.

Meng also authored a measure in the legislation that would require the FAA to set a five-year strategy on ways to research and mitigate aircraft noise.

“The constant barrage of airplane noise over Queens continues to take a toll on residents of the borough and negatively impact the quality of life of my constituents,” said Meng. “Last month’s enactment of our noise metric provision marked important progress in our fight to combat excessive airplane noise, and these three measures would go a long way in helping those efforts as well. I look forward to the FAA Reauthorization Act now moving through the Senate.”

Kim Lauds Korean Historic Agreement

Assemblymember Ron Kim/Facebook

Assembly Member Ron Kim (D-Whitestone, Flushing, Murray Hill) on Friday lauded the historic meeting between the two leaders of South Korea and North Korea, and the furthering of relations between the two countries.

“This is an extraordinary occasion for Koreans and Korean Americans around the world. In the past year, my colleagues and I have been calling for less brinkmanship and greater diplomacy to resolve the hostilities on the Korean Peninsula. Sixty-five years after the signing of the armistice, a direct meeting between the two countries’ leaders represents a genuine sign of hope for countless lives still affected by the Korean War,” said Kim, a Korean-American.

“This form of people-to-people diplomacy between both sides is essential for achieving ultimately tangible and life-changing developments, including the potential reunification of families torn apart by the war or even the opening of a new embassy. I join my fellow Korean Americans in expressing our genuine joy and cautious optimism that this will lead to beneficial and lasting changes for all,” he added.

Vallone, Grodenchik Call For Property Tax Relief And Equity

City Council Member Paul Vallone
City Council Member Barry Grodenchik

City Council Members Paul Vallone (D-College Point, Whitestone, Malba, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, North Flushing, Auburndale) and Barry Grodenchick (D-Bayside, Bellerose, Douglaston, Floral Park, Fresh Meadows, Glen Oaks, Hollis, Hollis Hills, Holliswood, Jamaica Estates, Little Neck, Oakland Gardens, Queens Village) joined fellow council members Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) Steven Matteo (R-SI) Joseph Borelli (R-SI) and Mark Gjonaj on Friday in expressing disappointment that Mayor Bill de Blasio‘s FY 2019 Executive budget included no provisions to provide property tax relief of equity in how property taxes are assessed.

The council had proposed a $400 property tax rebate for homeowners making below $150,000, as well as a commission to study reforms of the system’s inequalities.

The proposals would cost a combined $187 million in of de Blasio’s $89 billion FY 2019 spending plan. Of the spending plan, $27.8 billion or slightly less than a third of the budget, will come from property tax revenue.

“We are extremely disappointed that in the $89 billion budget Mayor de Blasio unveiled Thursday there is no property tax relief to help seniors, retirees, working and middle class families who are struggling to make ends meet, as their taxes have skyrocketed and their incomes have stagnated,” said the lawmakers in their joint statement.

“There also is no indication of how this administration intends to address the glaring inequities of a property tax system that charges the owner of a modest home in our districts more than the owner of a multi-million dollar brownstone in Park Slope.

“We are all for making New York City more fair and that’s why we will continue to forcefully advocate for a property tax rebate throughout the budget negotiation process; homeowners in this city need property tax relief in a big way, and they need it now. I know we speak for just about every property owner in the five boroughs when we say, ‘C’mon man, give us a break!'”

Addabbo Bill Making State’s Racing Fan Advisory Council Permanent Passes Senate

Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr.

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, parts of South Ozone Park, Ridgewood, Woodside, The Rockaways) recently joined with his Senate colleagues to approve legislation (S.3158) he co-sponsored to make the New York State Racing Fan Advisory Council a permanent part of the New York State Gaming Commission.

“Several years ago, a temporary Racing Fan Advisory Council was put together to advise the state on how to improve and expand its racing industry, with a particular eye on attracting more people to the sport and celebrating its history,” said Addabbo, the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering. “The panel produced a report and recommendations on how to improve the racing fan experience, which were considered valuable input. As we move forward with racing and pari-mutuel wagering in our state, a permanent council may help lead the way in promoting this important segment of New York’s economy.”

Addabbo, whose Senate district includes Aqueduct Raceway, noted that New York’s equine industry has an estimated $4.2 billion impact on the state’s economy, and generates 33,000 full-time jobs. In addition to racing revenues, the economic impact includes state and local taxes generated by the industry, and the preservation of 1.3 million acres of open space by horse farms, training centers and riding stables.

“Aqueduct Raceway and Resorts World Casino NYC have had a very positive impact on our local economy, tourism, the hospitality industry, and job opportunities for my constituents,” said Addabbo. “The Racing Fan Advisory Council will be charged with creating an ‘I Love NY Racing Promotion,’ along with examining other issues related to racing and wagering. I expect Aqueduct will be included and featured in these efforts.”

The measure now moves to the assembly for consideration.