Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn, Staten Island) today joined Sen. Martin Golden (R,C,I-Brooklyn), MTA Board Member Allen Cappelli, representatives from the Guild for Exceptional Children and members of the Transit Workers Union for a press conference calling on the MTA New York City Transit Board to fully restore the B37 bus route. After years of fighting by elected officials and community groups, the MTA Board has agreed to a partial restoration of the B37 route; however this would only restore service from Bay Ridge to Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center.
“For three years I have fought alongside my colleagues, community groups and transit advocates to restore the B37,” said Malliotakis. “While we were successful in getting the MTA to agree to a restoration, reinstating the route only to the Barclays Center simply isn’t adequate. The majority of our constituents use this bus to get downtown, to the courts system, borough hall or medical appointments; all of which would still be out of reach under the partial restoration. While I’m pleased to have the bus partially restored, a full restoration is absolutely critical for the people of Bay Ridge and all of Brooklyn. I want to encourage anyone who uses the bus regularly to join us as we make our appeal to the MTA board on January 27.”
Senator Marty Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn), a member of the Metropolitan Transit Capital Review Board, stated, “The planned restoration of the B37 bus line is a tremendous victory for the riders, families and businesses of Brooklyn who had relied on this service prior to its elimination. However, the plan to end the route at the Barclays Center at Atlantic Avenue is miscalculated, and will fail to meet the needs of Brooklyn’s commuters. Another ten more blocks, as was previously the case, makes traveling in Brooklyn significantly more practical, and I urge the Metropolitan Transit Authority to continue to put the needs of their customers first.”
MTA Board Member Allen Cappelli said, “Senator Golden and Assemblywoman Malliotakis have been strong advocates in bringing about transportation equity in southern Brooklyn and throughout the region. I’m pleased to stand with them today to urge the MTA to finish the job and complete the B37 restoration.”
Should the partial restoration plan be enacted, service on the B37 would be available along 3rd Avenue from Shore Parkway to Atlantic Avenue, but would terminate at the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center subway complex. From there, riders would be forced to transfer to the B41, B45, B63, B67 and B103. The MTA Bus Company is also studying the feasibility of adding new stops along the B103 route to supplement service previously provided by the B37. However, those stops would not service all the previously-used locations.
Residents who wish to express their support for full restoration of the B37 can attend the NYC Transit and Bus committee meeting of the MTA Board. The meeting will be held on Monday, January 27 at 10:30 a.m. at the MTA headquarters, 347 Madison Avenue, Fifth Floor, Manhattan.
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C – Brooklyn, Staten Island) has joined Senators Andrew Lanza, Marty Golden, Diane Savino and Assemblymembers Michael Cusick, Matthew Titone and Lou Tobacco in sponsoring property tax relief legislation that would establish limitations upon real property tax levies in New York City. The bill places a cap on the growth of property taxes at two percent (or the Consumer Price Index (CPI), whichever is less).
“While the property tax cap that recently passed the Senate was sorely needed to protect property tax payers in upstate communities, the legislation failed to address the skyrocketing taxes we see here in New York City,” said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis. “Property tax rates have increased roughly 40 percent in New York over the last eight years alone. We cannot turn a blind eye to the realities taxpayers face in Brooklyn, Staten Island and throughout the other boroughs. I am proud to co-sponsor this legislation so that we can attract families and businesses to our communities rather than push them across state lines.”
“With this bill I am keeping with my commitment to provide real property tax relief to homeowners across Staten Island who are sick and tired of paying the highest taxes in the nation,” Senator Andrew Lanza said. “Staten Islanders are tapped out. This legislation will put an end to out-of-control tax increases that are being forced upon us.” Senator Marty Golden stated, “I can tell you that the rising costs of property taxes is on the mind of all homeowners and future homeowners of my district and throughout the City of New York. We must act now and pass this legislation before we see more ‘For Sale’ signs on front lawns caused in part by the increasing expense that is property tax. This bill will make property taxes more affordable for New York City homeowners and I urge my colleagues to recognize the need to implement a property tax cap in the Big Apple.”
“Property tax relief is an essential aspect of easing the fiscal burdens of working families,” said Assemblyman Michael Cusick. “This legislation is being introduced with the aim of eliminating double-digit property tax increases on Staten Island homeowners. Senior citizens on fixed incomes would not, as a result of this bill, be forced to anguish about arbitrary increases in property taxes. Enacting a 2% tax cap also would serve as a strong incentive for an efficient, economically sound state government.”
Senator Diane Savino said, “Property tax relief is an issue that affects all New Yorkers. The Senate took the first step this week in tackling this problem in the suburbs. But New York City residents need protection, too. Our home values are dropping, our assessments are rising. Something needs to break.”
“When you factor in tolls and the failure of the City to provided equitable health care to Staten Island we are probably the most financially burdened borough in the City,” said Assemblyman Matthew Titone. “Capping our property taxes is only fair.”
“Staten Island families and seniors are being crushed by ever-increasing property taxes, and are increasingly being forced to choose between buying basic essentials or paying their property taxes,” said Assemblyman Lou Tobacco (R,C,I-Staten Island). “This legislation will lower property taxes for New York City residents and will ensure that Staten Islanders receive the tax relief they deserve.”
Given the state of our economy and the heavy burden carried by taxpayers, Lanza contends we need to take an aggressive approach to stop the City from raising taxes on Staten Island families at every turn. “The reality is that residents and businesses are leaving the state in droves because they cannot continue to pay skyrocketing property and job-killing business taxes,” said Lanza. “This bill will help families and seniors living on fixed incomes make ends meet and stay in their homes. By limiting future increases, taxpayers would have a much better sense of what they need to budget. This also would help to rein in out-of-control government spending.”
The bill will be circulated to the entire New York City delegation for co-sponsorship.