Assemblyman Goldfeder: Newly Passed Legislation Will Benefit Queens Families
December 13, 2011
As a newly elected member of the New York State Assembly, I am honored that the first vote I was able to cast was one in favor of such historic legislation. This new law, created in a bipartisan manner, gives a long-overdue tax break to our state’s hardworking middle class families, and allows us to continue providing critical services to those who need them most. The tax cuts provided by this law will benefit roughly 4.4 million taxpayers, more than 99 percent of those filing across the state. To me, it was a simple matter of fairness and was the best way to put struggling middle class Queens families on the path to fiscal stability by enabling them to afford what they need, while promoting economic growth. However, this law is much more than a simple tax cut. It will rejuvenate our state’s economy in a number of other ways as well. The MTA payroll tax will be eliminated for qualifying small businesses, self-employed tax payers and public, private and parochial schools, thus creating a much more business-friendly climate for our vital small businesses. It is the right thing to do, as it helps ensure that the education funds provided to Queens are being used how they should be – to provide our children with a quality education. New Yorkers across the state are still recovering from the devastating effects of recent storms. Hurricane Irene proved devastating to many within my district, particularly those of you in Broad Channel, the Rockaway’s and Howard Beach. Senator Schumer and I wrote a letter to FEMA urging them to speed up their efforts to help repair the area. This legislation establishes the Hurricane Irene-Tropical Storm Lee Flood Recovery Grant Program, which will provide $50 million for flood relief efforts, including:
- $21 million for grants to small businesses, multiple dwellings and not-for-profits that sustained direct floor-related damage from either of the aforementioned storms by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC);
- $9 million for counties to support flood mitigation projects administered by the ESDC and the Department of Environmental Conservation;
- $20 million to address flood costs that had previously been the responsibility of localities and schools.