2004-09-24 / Community

Addabbo Calls For End To Sales Tax On Clothing Under $110

City Council Member Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., has announced that he has called on the New York State Legislature to grant New York City the authority to repeal the sales tax on clothing and footwear under $ 110.

Addabbo said that when the budget was approved by the legislature the sales tax on clothing and footwear under $110 was to sunset in June 2004.

“The purpose of this sunset provision was to ensure that after one year this sales tax to help the City through its budget crisis would expire,” said Addabbo.

However, the legislature and governor, during their budget negotiations, rescinded New York City’s authority to repeal the sales tax on clothing and footwear under $110.

“The sales tax on clothing and footwear is a regressive tax that is bad for business and burdensome for seniors and for families across the City,” said Councilman Addabbo, adding, “by restoring New York City’s authority to repeal the sales tax on clothing and footwear under $ 110 New Yorkers would no longer be burdened by this regressive tax.”

In the Council Addabbo also introduced legislation calling for special hydrant wrenches to be issued to each police patrol car/unit so that an open hydrant can be shut off in a timely manner to prevent costly damages to City and private property, to alleviate adverse conditions of low water pressure and to ensure public safety.

Addabbo said that currently only the City Department of Environmental Protection and the Fire Department have special wrenches to shut off open hydrants but cannot regularly shut them off in a timely manner due to understaffing and firefighters expressing a reluctance to become involved in possible altercations with large crowds.

According to the Preliminary Fiscal 2004 Mayor’s Management Report, the most frequent 311 citizen inquiries made to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) relates to open or leaking fire hydrants.

Addabbo stated that illegally opened fire hydrants are detrimental to New York City and its residents in several ways. Based on DEP statistics these open hydrants are costly to the City in terms of the loss of large amounts of water. Specifically, a single hydrant could waste up to 1,000 gallons of water per minute or 1,000,000 gallons in a 24-hour period, amplifying the cost in times of drought and crisis. Illegally opened fire hydrants may also lead to low water pressure that may adversely affect nearby facilities and residences and more seriously, may hinder fire-fighting by reducing the flow of water to hoses and pumps. Additionally, when the fire hydrants are open just before rainstorms, it can contribute to street flooding and backups. Finally, they may also lead to damages to City infrastructure, damages to residential and commercial property, and damages to cable and telephone equipment, all of which pose a viable danger to the public.

Councilman Addabbo has also sponsored legislation requiring the Department of Citywide Administrative Services to create and submit a written report regarding eligible lists to determine if a city agency is not hiring or promoting employees fairly and in accordance with the 1-3 rule.

In the City of New York the Department of Citywide Administrative Services is responsible for administering civil service examinations and creating eligible lists from which promotional appointments are made.

The New York State constitution mandates that appointments and promotions in the civil service be made according to merit and fitness through competitive examination.

“My legislation is intended to check on city agencies and ensure fairness in the hiring and promoting of city employees under the New York State constitution,” said Addabbo.

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