Brooklyn Lawmakers on the Move Feb. 3, 2020

News Site Brooklyn

Cymbrowitz Slams Property Tax Reform’s Preliminary Report

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Brighton Beach) said Friday that southern Brooklyn communities he serves would be hit hard by the “shockingly misguided” property tax overhaul recommendations released also on Friday.

“In its current form, the plan is devastating to many thousands of homeowners, condo and co-op owners in Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay, Gravesend, Midwood and other communities in Brooklyn and other boroughs who will open their property tax bill one day and suddenly get a case of sticker shock they’ll never recover from,” said Cymbrowitz, Chair of the Assembly Housing Committee. “Renters will be similarly hurt when landlords are forced to pass some of the increased costs onto them.”

The recommendations, made by the Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform empowered by the mayor and city council speaker, outline potentially drastic changes to the way residential properties are taxed across the five boroughs.

Among the recommended reforms that Cymbrowitz decried was the commission proposal to bring co-ops and condos, along with small rentals (fewer than 10 units) into the same class as small one- to three-family homes, to be assessed on sales price and taxed on 100 percent of the market value. 

Another major proposal is removing assessment caps, which currently limit the amount property taxes for homeowners can increase to 6 percent over a one-year period or 20 percent over a five-year period.

Cymbrowitz called the panel’s recommendations, which would affect about 90 percent of all New York City homeowners, “a draconian plan that will unduly punish hardworking middle-class families who have invested in our city and ultimately drive many of them right out of here.”

“The commission’s idea of property tax equity seems to be making property taxes unaffordable to almost everyone,” he said. “Fortunately, the plan has to go through a lot of steps, and one of those steps is legislative approval. Under its current incarnation, the plan will be dead on arrival.” 

Adams To Host Roundtable With Medical Experts On Alzheimer’s

Borough President Eric Adams
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams today will host a roundtable with community leaders and medical professionals to discuss the growing public health issue of Alzheimer’s dementia and developing comprehensive strategies for responding to the illness and its impact on elderly New Yorkers.

There are currently 400,000 people in New York State with Alzheimer’s disease. In 2025, a projected 460,000 New Yorkers aged 65 and older will struggle with this disease, a crisis that will not only cause suffering for many people and families, but also place a major strain on public resources. 

Adams and other participants will discuss measures to raise awareness about the influence of community and lifestyle on brain health in collaboration with Drs. Sherzai’s Healthy Mind

The roundtable discussion is slated for 10 a.m., today, Feb. 3 at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street, in Downtown Brooklyn.

Cuomo Announces Williamsburg Park to Be Named For Transgender Pioneer

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, speaking at the Human Rights Campaign Greater New York Gala, announced he will name the first New York State park after an LGBTQ person. 

He will direct the State Parks Commissioner to rename East River State Park — located in Williamsburg — after Marsha P. Johnson, a pioneer of the LGBTQ rights movement and a transgender woman of color. 

Johnson, a black trans woman who passed away in 1992, was an LGBTQ civil rights activist and prominent figure in the Stonewall Uprising. She was a founding member of the Gay Liberation Front, an activist with ACT UP, and co-founded STAR along with Sylvia Rivera. She passed away at age 46 and is remembered as a pioneer of the LGBTQ movement.

“New York State is the progressive capital of the nation, and while we are winning the legal battle for justice for the LGBTQ community, in many ways we are losing the broader war for equality,” Cuomo said. “Even in New York, attacks against African Americans, Jewish Americans, Muslim Americans and LGBTQ Americans went up by double digits. These attacks are motivated by fear and intolerance against those who are ‘different,’ and they are blind to the commonality of humanity. We are fighting back, and we will continue achieving progress and showing the rest of the nation the way forward.”

Clarke Lambasts Trump  Administration Announcement of an African Travel Ban

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

U.S. Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Kensington, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Gerritsen Beach, Prospect Lefferts Gardens) on Friday blasted the Trump Administration’s  immigration ban on selective African countries, including Nigeria: 

“America’s Bigot-in-Chief has struck again–this time limiting the rights and banning immigration from certain African countries. We have seen him do this in various iterations, including the Muslim ban, which occurred three years ago this week. President Trump’s announcement of an African Ban further perpetuates his racist, xenophobic agenda to whitewash America,” said Clarke.

“Where I come from in Central Brooklyn we celebrate our differences. Looking back on history books, I hope generations will recognize Donald J. Trump’s abhorrent behavior and his attempt to whitewash America. America has a troubled history of abusing people of color, like slavery and Japanese internment camps. We will fight this latest ban, because this is not a time that we want our history to repeat itself.

“My district is one of the most diverse places in America–and this is a good thing, not a bad thing, as Trump would like us to believe. The folk in NY-09 are at the bullseye of Trump’s policies because we are such a diverse community. We will persevere in the face of injustice and in the face of Donald J. Trump and his racist, xenophobic agenda,” she added.

Colton Warms Parents Fight to Save SHSAT and G&T Programs Far From Over

Assembly Member William Colton

Assemblyman William Colton (D–Gravesend, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Dyker Heights) is warning parents that the fight for the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT) and gifted and talented programs is far from being over.  

“The Mayor and the NYC Chancellor are continuing to seek to eliminate the SHSAT and to eliminate testing for admission to all middle schools and to end Gifted and Talented programs in NYC public schools,” said Colton. “This year they are pushing to get the state to let the city decide how to select students for these schools. 

Colton, local Democratic District Leader Charlie Ragusa and Nancy Tong, along with Dr. Tim Law and Nino Magali, are mobilizing the community to defeat this plan which will deny specialized high school seats to children whose work and achievement have earned admission by their merit, Colton said.

The Assemblyman is organizing a meeting to mobilize the community and circulate petitions in supporting to keep SHSAT and requiring all school districts to have gifted and talented programs. 

The meeting is slated for 7:30 p.m., Feb. 19 at the Community Room at 29 Bay 25th Street in Bath Beach.

Rose Introduces Bill to Assess Foreign Violent White Supremacist Extremist Groups

Max Rose
U.S. Rep. Max Rose

U.S. Rep. Max Rose (D-Southern Brooklyn, Staten Island), chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, last week introduced the legislation that would direct the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop and disseminate a terrorist threat assessment of foreign violent white supremacist extremist groups.

Dubbed the Transnational White Supremacist Extremism Review (WSER) Act, the measure comes as researchers and experts have observed that the threat posed by violent white supremacist extremism is increasingly transnational in nature. Some white-supremacist extremists have even traveled abroad to train in warzone environments.

“We can’t only be focused on the threats of yesterday—we need to stay ahead of the curve and ensure law enforcement has the tools and information needed to keep us safe against the threats of today and tomorrow,” said Rose, an Army combat veteran. “We’ve seen the horrific acts of terrorism that have been inspired and carried out by violent white supremacist groups and we cannot sit idly by. Through our Committee work, including hearings and briefings on this issue, it’s clear that law enforcement needs to be equipped with key information and a full understanding of the nature and scope of the threats we face by transnational violent white supremacist groups.”

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