Brooklyn Lawmakers On The Move April 1, 2019

News Site Brooklyn

Malliotakis, Assembly Minority Pushes For Property Tax Cap For NYC Homeowners

Assembly Member Nicole Malliotakis

Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-Bay Ridge, Staten Island) and Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R-Canandaigua), an upstate lawmaker, yesterday called out the Assembly Majority’s decision to not putting a property tax cap on New York City residents.

The call came as the state passed a $175 billion Fiscal Year 2020 budget, $7 billion more than last year’s $168 billion budget – the second largest state budget in the U.S. after California.

“The Assembly Majority’s refusal to address sky-high property taxes in their own backyard is absolutely shocking. Homeowners from Rochester to Staten Island should all benefit from the realities of a permanent property tax cap. Drawing a line in the sand around New York City does nothing but make the dream of affording a home in the five boroughs an impossibility for middle-class residents,” said Kolb. “The Assembly Minority is proud to have championed the idea of a permanent property tax cap for years, and we will continue to push for our neighbors in New York City to feel the same tax relief as the rest of the state.”

Malliotakis said the city should receive the same benefits of a 2% property tax cap as the rest of the state that was instituted in this year’s spending plan.

“Property taxes have increased 44 percent over the past five years and continue to raise the cost of living in the city for renters and homeowners alike. Without the protections of a tax cap, residents will continue to see their tax bills rise uncontrollably,” said Malliotakis.

Schumer Says Suspend Boeing From Committee Charged With Recommending Airline Regs

U.S. Senator Charles Schumer

U. S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) yesterday called on Boeing to be temporarily suspended from sitting on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) committee charged with recommending airline industry regulations that include possible safety oversight.

Schumer made the call amidst an active and ongoing investigation by the feds into recent Boeing crashes, and a preliminary report that points to serious issues with Boeing’s planes.

The committee, known as the Aviation Rule making Advisory Committee (ARAC), is charged with recommending airline industry regulations.

“Earlier this week, we heard the federal Department of Transportation lament about an overly ‘cozy’ relationship between the FAA and industry, but clandestine committees like ARAC act like a proverbial blanket with their lack of transparency and the comfortable cover they provide for companies like Boeing,” said Schumer. “It makes no sense for Boeing —or any company for that matter— to be involved in an active investigation surrounding questions of safety while also retaining ‘membership’ on a federal committee that recommends airline industry regulations. That is why I am demanding the FAA both suspend Boeing from this committee and any others until the formal investigation has ended, and to also answer serious questions I have raised.”

Specifically, Schumer is demanding the FAA do three things:

1)      Suspend and/or update the public on Boeing’s membership on the committee known as ARAC;

2)      Make public who else sits on the committee (all airline and industry members) and release the minutes of each and every meeting since the Trump administration took office;

3)      Commit to reforming the entire FAA committee by examining the member selection process, transparency, and potential conflicts of interest so the public and Congress know who is making regulatory decisions at the FAA– and for what reasons.

Gounardes Approves Cuomo’s Nomination For New MTA Chair

Andrew Gounardes
State Sen. Andrew Gounardes

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-Bay Ridge, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach) yesterday congratulated Patrick Foye, Governor Cuomo’s nominee as the new Chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Foye, 62, has served as president of the MTA since returning to the agency in August 2017. He previously served as executive director of the Port Authority for six years.  

“I congratulate MTA President Patrick Foye on being nominated to serve as Chairman of the MTA. I have already met with him several times and have earnestly discussed the state of mass transit in my district and across the entire city. I trust that he understands the depths of the crisis that our mass transit system is in and I look forward to working in partnership with him, while conducting vigorous legislative oversight, to ensure that we have a subway, bus, and express bus system that is reliable, accountable, and accessible for all,” said Gounardes.

“I look forward to questioning the Chairman – elect on how he plans to execute essential system-wide upgrades and repairs without pushing our riders and commuters further to the brink of their financial limits. That includes the obnoxiously high cost to cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The district I represent in southern Brooklyn is plagued by some of the longest wait times, an acute lack of accessible subway stations, notorious transit deserts, and is a vital thruway to access Staten Island. If confirmed by the Senate, I will invite the Chairman-elect to make my district one of the first he visits to see first-hand what we’re dealing with.”

Lander Lauds State Plastic Bags Ban, Says Fee Should Be Added 

City Council Member Brad Lander

City Council Members Brad Lander (D-Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, Kensington) and Margaret Chin (D-Manhattan) yesterday called Albany’s Legislation to ban single-use plastic bags a step in the right direction, but said citizens should also be charged a fee for use of paper bags.

“The days of the plastic bags in New York are, at last, coming to an end. Now we’ve got to make sure we reduce bag waste overall and don’t just trade plastic waste for paper waste. We are committed to getting that done,” the city lawmakers said in a joint statement.

“But the job, it appears, is not yet complete. In California, the state legislation banning plastic bags also included a statewide fee on paper bags as well. This fee is a good idea because it is shown to encourage the vast majority of shoppers — across lines of race, class, age, family size, and ideology — to switch to reusable bags.

Without a fee, many shoppers simply switch to paper bags, which have their own adverse environmental impacts. The manufacture and transportation of heavier paper bags produce global warming emissions and are also a significant source of water and ground level air pollution. Moreover, most paper bags don’t get recycled and end up in landfills. And the market for recycled paper is especially weak these days since China has essentially ended the importation of recyclables from the United States. Finally, since paper bags are substantially heavier than plastic ones, New York City would spend even more than the $12 million we spend each year to truck bag waste to landfills (disproportionately through low-income communities of color).

The State Legislation establishes an option for counties (including NYC) to require a 5-cent fee on paper bags, as Suffolk County has already done. Under the State Law, the fee would be split, with 3 cents going to the NYS Environmental Protection Fund, and the other 2 cents going to the locality to help purchase reusable bags for low-income residents.

As we began doing back in 2013, we are committed to working together with environmental advocates, neighborhood organizations, public housing resident associations, and all New Yorkers who care about reducing the waste we send to landfills to adopt a bag fee law for New York City. But let’s remember: the goal is not to collect the fee. The goal is to encourage people to switch to reusable bags, something everyone can do.”