Queens Lawmakers On The Move Nov. 20, 2018

Queens County City Council News

Katz, Borough Board hold Hearing On Boroughwide Snow Removal Plan

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz

Following last week’s storm that brought six inches of snow to Queens and snarled traffic across the borough, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and the Queens Borough Cabinet will hear a presentation from the city’s Department of Sanitation (DOS) regarding its boroughwide snow removal plan for the upcoming 2018-19 winter season.

Representatives from DOS will discuss its pre-winter planning process, plow routes, storm response, snow removal priority, staffing and more ahead of the upcoming winter months.

The Borough Cabinet will also hear a presentation from the New York Immigrant Coalition on the federal government’s proposed change to the “public charge” rule.

In September 2018, the Department of Homeland Security announced it would significantly broaden the criteria it could use to label an immigrant applying for legal residency as a “public charge.” That change would render immigrants who receive public assistance, such as Medicaid, SNAP and Section 8 housing vouchers, potentially ineligible for U.S. permanent residency. The federal government’s 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule change is underway and closes on Dec. 10.

In October, Katz released a statement blasting the proposed rule change, calling it a “vicious, immoral proposal” that would force families to choose between securing critical public services and legal residency.

The meeting is slated for 9:30 a.m., today, Nov. 20 at Queens Borough Hall, 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens.

Dromm Floats Bill Helping Some Behind On Property Taxes

City Council Member Daniel Dromm

City Council Member Daniel Dromm (D-East Elmhurst, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights), chair of the Council’s Finance Committee, today will have the committee air out his bill that would give breaks to low-income and seniors on fixed who are behind on property taxes in their installment agreements.

Currently, when a property owner owes property tax arrears they may enter into an installment agreement with the Department of Finance to pay off the debt over a period of up to ten years with a zero dollar down payment. The installment amounts are then calculated based on the amount owed, interest rates, and pay-off period, but without regard for income or ability to pay.

This local law would create three income-based installment agreements for eligible one- to three- family and condominium property owners where such property is the primary residence. All three installment agreements would be available only to property owners with combined incomes of $50,000 or less.

The senior low-income installment agreement would allow property owners who are at least 65 years old to defer payment of a percentage of their tax arrears and prospective tax liability until the termination of the installment agreement upon expiration, death, or transfer. The fixed-length income-based installment agreement would allow property owners to pay off tax arrears and one year of prospective tax liability by paying installments based on a percentage of income until the debt is repaid.

Finally, the extenuating circumstances income-based installment agreement would allow property owners with extenuating circumstances (such as loss of income due to unemployment, death, treatment of an illness, military service, or involuntary absence) to enter into a one-year installment agreement to pay off tax arrears and property taxes that accrue during that year by paying installments based on a percentage of income. A property that is the subject of one of the installment agreements would be exempt from the tax lien sale.

The committee hearing on the bill is slated for 10 a.m., today, Nov. 20 at 250 Broadway, 16th Floor in Lower Manhattan. The meeting is open to the public.

Sanders, Adams Hail New “Green” Playground In Jamaica

State Sen. James Sanders Jr.
City Council Member Adrienne Adams

State Sen. James Sanders Jr. (D-Richmond Hill, South Ozone Park, Jamaica, Rochdale Village, Rosedale, parts of Far Rockaway) and City Council Member Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica, Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village, South Ozone Park) yesterday hailed the city’s announced completion of a new “green” playground at P.S. 50 in Jamaica.

The school’s playground has been transformed with the addition of green infrastructure that has the capacity to capture up to 836,000 gallons of storm water annually, which will help to improve the health of Jamaica Bay. The playground improvements include a turf field, new running track and benches to complement the existing play equipment and basketball hoop. The cost for the new playground was nearly $1.6 million.

P.S. 50 is located along Allendale Street between 101st Avenue and Liberty Avenue and is part of the Schoolyards to Playgrounds initiative that opens playgrounds to the community after school hours.

“This new green playground is a welcome addition to the Jamaica community, providing our children with a fun, safe, place to exercise and play, while also serving the practical purpose of absorbing storm water and aiding the health of Jamaica Bay.  I applaud the city for making this important investment and I look forward to seeing the benefits of its creation flourish,” said Sanders.

“This playground will not only provide a great new place for children from the school and community to play but its green infrastructure will absorb storm water and improve the health of Jamaica Bay,” said Adams. “Queens is thrilled to unveil the much anticipated upgrades to P. S. 50’s new green playground.”

Weprin Holds Briefing On Upstate Jail & Immigration Detainees In State

Assembly Member David Weprin

Assemblymember David I. Weprin (D-Richmond Hill, Fresh Meadows), chair of the Assembly Committee of Correction today will hold a briefing on his visit to the Orange County Correctional Facility from earlier in the day and discuss the status of immigration detainees in New York State.

The briefing is slated for 4 p.m., today, Nov. 20, at his district office, 185-06 Union Turnpike in Fresh Meadows.

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