"STILL YOUR CITY"
New York City Mayor talks property tax breaks for seniors during NST visit
BY SUZANNE MONTEVERDI
Photos by Julie Weissman
During his time in Queens as part of "City
Hall in Your Borough" week, Mayor Bill
de Blasio took to Glen Oaks to discuss
tax breaks for seniors.
Residents of North Shore Towers, a gated
co-op community near the Queens/Nassau
border, assembled in the Towers on the Green
on July 20 for the mayor's remarks. In front of a
large board reading "Still Your City," de Blasio
informed the full crowd of attendees about
funding recently allocated to provide deeper
property tax breaks for seniors.
"We know all over the city, all over the country,
a lot of folks who reached the middle class
are now finding it hard to stay in the middle
class and to live the kind of lifestyle they
deserve," the mayor said. "And that’s where
we have to come in and do more and more
to help people out and help make peoples’
Under the current legislation, senior or disabled
homeowners who make up to $37,400 are
eligible for property tax relief. Under the newly
proposed bill, seniors or disabled individuals
who make up to $58,400 in household income
would be eligible for the tax break.
The "pro-Queens legislation," as de Blasio
called it, will reach 32,000 senior households,
with one-third that number hailing from Queens.
The average benefit per year is $1,750.
"I’ve heard from seniors ... still struggling,
making tough choices between what they have
pay for housing, for medicine, for food. All the
basics. We want to lighten that burden," de
The bill passed in Albany and is now awaiting
Governor Andrew Cuomo's signature.
"I’m very hopeful that the governor is going
to sign it because there are thousands of seniors
who will benefit," he said.
NYC Department for the Aging Commissioner
Donna Corrado applauded the move.
"This is all about a tax break for middle class
seniors, who have worked hard their entire
lives, to help them remain in their communities,
in their apartments and help them age in
place," she said. "It's putting money back in
The mayor, joined by local elected officials
including Councilman Barry Grodenchik,
Assemblyman Edward Braunstein and
Assemblyman David Weprin, also took time
to complement the North Shore Towers
"This place is kind of legendary, I have to tell
you, as the epitome of a middle-class community
(l. to r.) NST General Manager Glen Kotowski, Board President Mario Carmiciano, Mayor De
Blasio, Towers Restaurant Manager Angelo Pantazis, PAC Commitee Member Debra Markell
Kleinert and PAC Chair Stanley Goldsmith
that works," de Blasio said. "I know there are
people here who brought up their families here,
and stayed, and have loved every moment of it.
This is tight knit community. This is a wonderful
community. And it’s, to me, a real pleasure to
be with you."
Rita Engel, a resident at North Shore Towers
for 10 years, said she hopes the mayor sticks to
his word on the tax breaks, as well as his promise
to reform the property tax system, should he be
Hizzoner Mayor Bill de Blasio
"I'd also like to see the city put a priority on
transit," Engel said. "I have adult children that
use the railroad. I'd like to see more protection,
Friend Sandy Rosenblatt, a resident of four
years, agreed with Engel. She said there also
needs to be more transit options for people with
"I have two handicapped children," Rosenblatt
said. "Nassau County's transit is wonderful,
but the city hasn't risen to the occasion."
Borough President and friend of NST, Melinda
Katz was among the luminaries
6 NORTH SHORE TOWERS COURIER ¢ August 2017