NY Lawmakers on the Move, April 8, 2022

Lawmakers on the Move

Brannan Calls for Property Tax Rebate Now

Justin Brannan
City Council Member Justin Brannan

City Council Member Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn), chair of the Finance Committee, yesterday called for joint action by the state and city governments to provide a property tax rebate for working and middle class homeowners. 

The measure would come on the heels of the NYC Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform’s final report, which outlined a plan of permanent helpful reforms that need state approval in order to take effect.

Because the state legislative process is notoriously slow-moving and fickle, reform is a much-needed but not immediate answer. Brannan believes the need for property tax relief, especially for lower and middle income homeowners, is urgent. Brannan says the government needs to take stopgap measures while the fight for reform continues.

“Everyone knows the property tax system is broken. It’s one of very few things we can all agree on these days. And we know what needs to be done to fix it. We’ve got the prescription but we can’t wait forever. In the meantime, I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let my constituents continue paying through the nose, serving as an ATM machine for others who have been paying too little for too long,” Brannan said. 

“I have been fighting to fix our unfair and broken property tax system since before I was elected. Just to simply create the Property Tax Reform Commission, we overcame decades of political gridlock and neighborhoods being pit against each other. We can’t just sit back and wait for Albany to let us put that work into practice. While we continue that fight, it’s also long past time we give New York homeowners immediate relief. Cash in your pocket, now. A rebate while we wait,” he added.

Weprin, Rajkumar Denounce Attack on Sikh Community Member, Convene Local Leaders for Public Gathering

Assembly Member David Weprin
Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar

Assemblymembers David I. Weprin (D-Queens) and Jenifer Rajkumar (D-Queens) will lead a public gathering of community and elected leaders outside the Sikh Cultural Society this Sunday to denounce the unprovoked attack on a senior member of the Sikh community. 

The incident occurred in the early morning on Sunday, April 3 near the intersection of 95th Ave and Lefferts Blvd in Richmond Hill, when the individual was physically assaulted from behind. 

“Violence against the Sikh, South Asian, and East Asian communities in Richmond Hill is atrocious, and I proudly stand in solidarity with my neighbors and colleagues to denounce any and all acts of hate,” said Weprin. “We must look out for each other and stand together as one, because an attack against any group is an attack against all. Our great city will never tolerate hate.”

“As the first Punjabi American ever elected to New York State Office, I want Nirmal Singh and all members of our community to know that I am here for you. An attack on any Sikh-American is an attack on all Americans,” said Rajkumar. “I am in contact with the NYPD and will do everything in my power to see that the perpetrator of this crime is brought to justice. Bringing public safety and security to all communities in my district has always been one of my top priorities and every day I work towards that goal.”

The public gathering will begin at 12 noon, Sunday, April 10 outside the Sikh Cultural Society, located at 95-30 118th St in South Richmond Hill.

Ung Announces Reopening of Flushing Library 

City Council Member Sandra Ung

City Council Member Sandra Ung (D-Queens) announced yesterday that the Flushing branch of the Queens Public Library (QPL) will officially reopen to the public at 10 a.m., Monday, April 25.

The library originally closed at the start of the pandemic along with all other QPL branches. However, when other branches began to offer partial in-person and pick-up services, the Flushing Library remained closed due to issues with the HVAC system.

A temporary HVAC system was put in place, but the branch remained closed because of a project to install a second elevator. Work on the elevator is ongoing, but a safety plan is now in place so it can proceed simultaneously as the public resumes visiting the library.

Averaging approximately 6,000 visitors per day, the Flushing branch is one of the busiest in the nation. Even before she took office, Ung made reopening the library a priority.

“I’m so pleased that we finally have a definite date for the reopening of the Flushing Library,” said Ung. “The library is truly the heart of this community, especially for our large immigrant population. More than just a place to check out books, it is essential to our seniors and families, as well as a place for students to gather after school. Not having this facility in our community for over three years was a real hardship.”

The hours at the library are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Saturday. Sunday service will be restored at some point in the future.

QBP Richards, Borough Board Hear from Transportation & City Planning Officials

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr., and the Queens Borough Board that he chairs on Monday will hear from New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez and New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) Director Daniel Garodnick in a virtual meeting.

The two leaders will provide some background about themselves and their respective agencies and address their plans and priorities for Queens.

This meeting will be conducted virtually with Borough Board members participating via videoconference. It is slated for 5:30 p.m., Monday, April 11. The meeting will also be live-streamed to the public on the Borough President’s website at www.queensbp.org.

More from Around New York