Gounardes Introduces Property Tax Measure to Help Low- and Middle-Income New Yorkers
State Sen. Andrew Gounardes (Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend, Gerritsen Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marine Park) and Assemblymember Michael Cusick (D-Staten Island) last week introduced a circuit breaker bill to provide property tax relief to low- and middle-income homeowners and renters in New York City.
The circuit breaker legislation dictates that if a New York City taxpayer’s property tax bill or Real Property Tax equivalent for renters is over a certain percentage of household income (the “affordability threshold”), they will receive a benefit percentage of the amount over the threshold back as a tax refund.
Gounardes has also introduced S5234B to eliminate the cap on assessed value for homes worth $3 million or more when the household income is over $250,000.
“In a fair system, the very wealthiest New Yorkers wouldn’t get a special loophole, while senior citizens and working people struggle to get by. Park Slope shouldn’t pay less than Bay Ridge,” said Gounardes. “A circuit breaker is designed to prevent damage from an electrical system becoming overloaded. Right now, New Yorkers are overloaded and need relief.”
Colton Pleased His Litter Control Plan Passes Assembly
Assemblyman William Colton (D–Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights) is happy to announce that his Bill # A-4844 has passed the assembly, delivered to the Senate and referred to Environmental Conservation on January 23.
“I had introduced and sponsored Bill A4844 which requires local solid waste management plans for cities over one million to include a plan for litter control including provision for placement of an adequate number of receptacles for trash and recyclables in commercial and business zones and in public recreational areas. I decided to sponsor this bill to ensure that garbage is properly disposed, and littering is kept to a minimum. It is very important that an adequate number of trash containers are in both business areas and in public areas,” Colton said.
“In the cities like New York, where there is a large population of tourists, businesses and commercial properties it is a necessity to have enough trash containers so everyone would consider putting litter into the trash container rather than drop it on the ground. We need to keep our city environmentally clean to avoid spreading different kinds of illnesses and diseases,” he added.
Colton said more trash containers on commercial streets like 86 Street, 18th Avenue, Kings Highway, Avenue U, and Bay Parkway in Brooklyn, to keep our streets clean.
Frontus Secures Funds to Air Condition P.S. 100
Assemblymember Mathylde Frontus (D-Coney Island, Bay Ridge, Brighton Beach, Gravesend) has secured $31,000 to install air conditioning units at P.S. 100 The Coney Island School.
“For far too long, the students and teachers of P.S. 100 went to school without the proper air conditioning to cool them down on a hot day,” Frontus said. “It’s not only appalling – it can also be a health hazard for students with breathing problems. That’s why I fought to secure funding to install new air conditioning units so our children can learn in a hospitable space.”
P.S. 100 The Coney Island School, which serves 821 students from Pre-K to grade 5, is housed in an almost 100-year-old building. More than 13,000 public school classrooms in New York City reported that they didn’t have proper air conditioning units. Research has shown that students’ test scores suffer on very hot days, and teachers say that the lack of air conditioning makes it difficult for students to learn.
“Whether it’s P.S. 100 or one of the many other schools in our communities, I’ll always do everything I can to ensure South Brooklyn students have the resources and support they need to thrive in the classroom,” Frontus said.
De Blasio Launches Anti-Hate Crime Neighborhood Safety Coalitions
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday the formation of three Neighborhood Safety Coalitions (NSCs) in Brooklyn neighborhoods that have experienced recent disturbing incidents against Jewish community members.
Operating out of the Williamsburg, Crown Heights, and Borough Park neighborhoods, the Coalitions bring together leaders from more than 70 community institutions to create a visible network of ambassadors for neighborhood safety and unity, mobilize community response, and promote cultural understanding.
“Hate has no place in our communities, and in New York City, we watch out for our neighbors,” said de Blasio. “Our new Neighborhood Safety Coalitions will help communities address the root causes of hate and deter acts of violence before they occur.”
The coalitions, which will begin meeting in February, are modeled on anti-violence programs that have for years operated throughout the city as proven ways to generate safety by neighbors for their neighborhoods. Applying these core, time-tested principles, each NSC consists of leaders from approximately 24 community religious congregations, local organizations, tenant associations, community boards, businesses, and schools from of the three each neighborhoods.
Each NSC will look to design and implement neighborhood-specific efforts to address hate crimes, providing a platform for community-driven solutions. Meeting approximately once a month, the coalitions are tasked with facilitating real and productive dialogue among community partners to generate concrete strategies to address root causes of hate crimes, mobilize residents in response to incidents, and promote cultural understanding among community groups that leads to opportunities for positive social interaction.
To help provide day-to-day support for the coalitions’ initiatives, the city plans to provide $200,000 to each of the three neighborhoods.
Cornegy, Jr. to Chair Façade Inspection Oversight Hearing
City Council Member Robert E. Cornegy, Jr. (D-Bedford-Stuyvesant, Northern Crown Heights) today will chair the Committee on Housing and Buildings oversight hearing on the Department of Buildings Façade Inspection and Safety Program.
The Committee expects to receive testimony from representatives of the Department of Buildings (DOB), the construction industry, members of the real estate industry, and other interested members of the public.
Following recent incidents of falling debris from building facades, resulting in the deaths of Erica Tishman and Xiang Ji, partial building collapse, and construction site accidents, the committee seeks to gather information about the Department of Buildings’ protocol and processes regarding these matters. The Committee will inquire about Local Law 11, recent incidents, and scaffolding and sidewalk sheds.
Cornegy, Jr. and City Council Member Benjamin Kallos (D-Manhattan) will hold a press conference prior to the hearing. The hearing will also include a reporting bill on the usage of drones for façade inspections (Int. 1853-2020)
The rally is slated for 9:30 a.m. and the hearing is slated for 10 a.m., today Jan. 27 at City Hall in lower Manhattan.
HUD Secretary Carson Announces Nationwide Bus Tour Focussed On Affordable Housing
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson this weekend announced that the Department will lead a bus tour across the nation focused on removing barriers to affordable housing stock.
The Driving Affordable Housing Across America tour will kick off in Louisville, Kentucky on Wednesday, Jan. 29 and make stops in various local communities for events and discussions focused on the need for increased affordable housing.
“In our efforts to alleviate the unnecessary regulatory barriers to housing construction and development, it’s important that we get out into local communities and hear directly from our fellow citizens who are grappling with rising housing prices and learn more about best practices to address them,” said Carson. “Families, businesses and all levels of government have concerns about the rising cost of housing, and this is an opportunity to bring those parties to the table for a discussion about how we can work together to fix the problem.”
This bus tour is a part of the work Secretary Carson is undertaking as the Chair of the White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing. The Council’s eight Federal member agencies are engaging with governments at all levels—State, local, and Tribal—and other private-sector and non-profit stakeholders on ways to increase the housing supply so more Americans have access to affordable housing.
President Trump signed Executive Order 13878, “Establishing a White House Council on Eliminating Regulatory Barriers to Affordable Housing,” due to the fact that, for many Americans, the supply of available housing has not kept pace with the demand for housing by prospective renters and homebuyers, driving up housing costs.
Regulations are often necessary to protect the health and safety of American citizens, such as clean air, water or disaster mitigation practices. However, outdated and overly burdensome, time-consuming, and costly regulatory requirements and restrictions prolong the completion of new housing supply and those costs are shifted to the consumer, particularly in tight markets, according to the Trump Administration.
For more information and details about tour stops, visit www.hud.gov/drivingaffordablehousing.
Nadler Misses Impeachment Trial Due to Family Illness
U.S. Rep and House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-Brooklyn, Manhattan), one of the designated House Managers for the Senate Impeachment Trial of President Trump, issued the following statement after missing Friday’s Senate session.
“In December, following the House Judiciary Committee markup of the Articles of Impeachment against President Donald J. Trump, my wife was admitted to the hospital where she was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. She has undergone surgery and is taking further steps to address the spread of the cancer. On Monday, I will be in New York with her to meet with doctors, determine a path forward, and begin her treatment. I am sorry to miss some of the Senate Impeachment Trial, which is of critical importance to our democracy,” said Nadler.
“I plan to return to Washington late Monday and appreciate the support of my colleagues and staff as I take this time to be with my wife and begin the long fight against her cancer,” he added.