Fighting for Tax Relief for Manhattan's Small BusinessesOn April 27, I joined Manhattan Councilmember Dan Garodnick, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, other elected officials, business leaders, and small business owners at a press conference in the Flatiron District to urge Mayor de Blasio to support Garodnick's commercial rent tax (CRT) reform legislation. Taxes should be based on a business's net income, not its expenses. The CRT is collected by New York City only from businesses in Manhattan between 96th Street and Chambers Street whose annual rent bill reaches $250,000 - a level that hasn't been adjusted since 2001. The CRT makes it difficult for many small businesses in Manhattan to survive, let alone thrive. As a result, the Main Streets of many of our communities are becoming chain streets, dominated by cookie-cutter national retailers and banks whose deep pockets enable them to afford the commercial rent tax burden. Councilmember Garodnick's bill would lift the annual rent level at which the CRT is triggered to $500,000. This would eliminate the CRT for about 40% of all businesses currently affected, but would only reduce the revenue the City receives from the CRT by about 6 percent. Another City bill that I support, which was introduced jointly by Manhattan Council Member Corey Johnson and Brewer, would eliminate the CRT altogether for any affordable supermarket currently affected by the CRT.
TAX RELIEF FOR MANHATTAN'S SMALL BUSINESSES: Calling for eliminating the Commercial Rent Tax on thousands of small businesses in Manhattan.
Update on the Renovation of the Chelsea Health CenterThe NYC Department of Design & Construction has been extensively renovating the Health Department clinic in Chelsea, located at 303 Ninth Avenue between 27th and 28th Streets. The renovation is on track to be completed by the end of 2017, according to DDC. The Clinic's patients include area residents and other New Yorkers seeking low- and no-cost testing and treatment for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as area families seeking vaccinations. HIV testing is critical to HIV prevention and treatment, so the clinic is working with community-based health care providers to continue offering affordable HIV and STD services in Chelsea during the clinic renovation. The NYC Health Department has a mobile van in front of the Chelsea Clinic to guide patients to health care providers in the area (including the Community Healthcare Network, the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, and the Mount Sinai Downtown Comprehensive Health Center), and are also offering mobile HIV and STD services near the Chelsea site five days a week. Advanced rapid HIV and syphilis testing is also available at the DOHMH mobile van unit.
L Train Service to be Suspended on Two Weekends in MayNew York City Transit (NYCT) is planning two service outages on the L subway line during the first and last weekends of May for repair work. The service suspensions will enable NYCT to ensure the L train subway tunnel under the East River can remain open until a 15-month-long service suspension for extensive reconstruction is slated to begin in April 2019. The two scheduled weekend service outages in May will result in suspension of all L train service in Manhattan in both directions. From 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 6, to 5 a.m. Monday, May 8, and on Memorial Day weekend from 12:01 a.m. Saturday, May 27, to 5 a.m. Tuesday, May 30, L trains will not operate in both directions between Eighth Avenue/14th Street Station in Manhattan and Broadway Junction in Brooklyn. To accommodate customers during the weekend outages, there will be a variety of service alternatives and free shuttle buses for subway customers: For service between Manhattan and Brooklyn: during both weekends, on each Saturday from 6 a.m. to midnight and from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. each Sunday, M trains will operate from Middle Village-Metropolitan Av to Manhattan via the Sixth Avenue B/D/F/M line, stopping at Lexington Av/63 St FQ, then onto the Second Avenue Q line to 96 Street. Late nights on Saturday into Sunday, M service will operate its regular scheduled service between Middle Village-Metropolitan Av to Myrtle Avenue. In Manhattan, the M14A and M14D bus lines will continue to make stops at L line stations along 14th Street.
Legislation to Expand Access to Medical Marijuana Advances in AssemblyAt its meeting on April 25, the Assembly Health Committee, which I chair, favorably re-ported several bills designed to expand patient access in the State's medical marijuana program, including:
- Making public the list of physicians registered to certify patients for medical marijuana (A2882, sponsored by Assembly Member Crystal Peoples-Stokes). With patients forced to go through social media or other, often-unreliable sources in order to find a provider, this measure will provide better public information;
- Expanding the conditions list to include several additional conditions, including post-traumatic stress disorder (A7006, which I sponsor); and
- Allowing medical marijuana companies to contract out parts of their operations, as other businesses do, subject to all regulations (A4708A,which I sponsor).
Free Help Documenting Apartment Repair Issues Using 'Justfix.nyc'"JustFix.nyc" is a free website tenants can use to document repair issues in their apartments. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's Northern Manhattan Office at 431 W. 125th Street (between Morningside & Amsterdam Avenues) is hosting training sessions to help tenants create accounts and start taking action to resolve their repair issues. Training sessions will be held Thursday, May 4, May 11, May 18, and May 25 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at 431 West 125th Street.
Sunday, May 21: Storefront Vacancy Survey Day of ActionManhattan's empty storefronts need filling! Join Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, her staff, and volunteers on Sunday, May 21 to help conduct a census along the length of Broadway for vacant commercial storefronts. Each surveyor will sign up for a number of blocks to report the addresses of vacant storefronts, the former occupants, and possible ideas on the types of businesses needed in the neighborhood. To register, please email your name and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Storefront Survey."
My District Office Is Moving!My Assembly District Office will soon be moving into new space, just two blocks from its current location. Starting May 15, my District Office will be located at 214 West 29th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues in Suite 1002 on the 10th floor. The new office is fully accessible to persons with disabilities. The phone number for the District Office will remain the same: (212) 807-7900.
214 West 29th Street
New York, NY 10001
Albany, NY 12248