2003-09-19 / Community

Addabbo Sponsors Senior Bills

Addabbo Sponsors Senior Bills

City Councilman Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., has called on Governor George Pataki to sign into law two bills recently passed by the state legislature that would allow the city to increase the income eligibility levels for the Senior Citizens Homeowners Exemption (SCHE) program and decrease the required proportion of income to be paid toward rent for residents of rent-controlled and rent-stabilized apartments.

Addabbo and his colleagues also called on the New York State Department of Labor and the New York State Occupational Safety and Health Abatement Board to promptly implement meaningful and enforceable safety standards in order to prevent violence in the workpl ace.

Council Resolution No. 984 cosponsored by Addabbo and passed by the Council supports and calls on the governor to sign legislative bills A. 8930 and S. 5592 passed by the senate and assembly which would increase the SCHE income eligibility levels by $2,500 from an annual household income of $21,500 to $24,000.

Under the bills passed a senior citizen with an annual income of $24,000 or less would qualify for the maximum tax exemption of 50%. Households with incomes over $24,000 and under $32,400 would qualify for exemptions of between 5 and 45 percent.

The Councilman said that raising the annual income qualification levels for SCHE would ease the burden of property taxes for a greater number of senior beneficiaries and raising the annual income eligibility for SCHE would provide seniors with additional assistance to ensure that they are able to maintain ownership of their homes.

Councilman Addabbo has also cosponsored Council Resolution No. 993 which calls on the state legislature to pass A. 6198 and S. 2677 which would amend the Real Property Tax Law (RPTL) to decrease the required proportion of income to be paid toward rent from one-third to one-fourth for residents of rent-controlled and rent-stabilized apartments to qualify for the Senior Citizen Rent Increase Exemption (SCRIE) program. The resolution also calls on the state legislature to enact legislation which would amend the RPTL to decrease the required proportion of income to be paid toward rent from one-third to one-fourth for residents of Mitchell-Lama apartments to qualify for the SCRIE program.

To be eligible for SCRIE a senior must be at least 62 years old, have an annual household income not exceeding $20,000, and must be paying at least one-third of his or her income toward rent.

Addabbo noted that many senior citizens in New York City have limited incomes and are subject to high rents and rent increases yet do not meet the one-third requirement for SCRIE.

Councilman Addabbo said," The enactment of this legislation would assist many more of the city’s low-income senior citizens to afford their housing accommodations as well as other necessary living costs."

In an effort to prevent violence in the workplace Councilman Addabbo has cosponsored Council Resolution No. 983

The resolution notes that city public employees may be at risk of violence in the workplace as a result of hazardous working conditions and the failure to properly protect workers from unnecessary and preventable incidents at work.

The resolutions go on to state that strengthening policies regarding workplace violence would help to better inform employers and employees about maintaining a secure worksite, thereby improving compliance with appropriate standards to help ensure the safety of hundreds and thousands of public sector employees in New York City.

In an effort to rid the city of rats Addabbo has cosponsored a bill in the Council that would make abating rats a requirement for the issuance of a permit for new construction or a building alteration.

The proposed bill states that no new building permit shall be issued unless the applicant has conducted appropriate trapping or baiting of rats at the site for which the permit is sought and submits with the application a certification that such trapping or baiting has been performed.

Councilman Addabbo has also sponsored a resolution commending the Campaign for Fiscal Equity and all those who worked on its behalf for its victory before the New York Court of Appeals and for tirelessly advocating to improve the education of the schoolchildren of the City of New York and calling upon the state legislature to fully and fairly provide the means to ensure that all city schoolchildren receive a sound education as soon as possible.

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