Column: City and state government overreach has gone too far

File photo

Homeowners and merchants in the Throggs Neck community and similar areas are under relentless attack by New York City’s government, and those who know how to manipulate it. It’s about to get even worse, indeed, far worse.

Escalating taxes and fees, reduced police protection, absurd traffic schemes, massive corruption, intense applications of fines, assaults on the very character of the neighborhood, crippling proposals to place massive tolls on drivers commuting to their jobs in Manhattan, and a plan to impose measures that would kill a major source of employment combine to place the future of middle-income communities in dire jeopardy.

Throggs Neck is about to face a dramatic crisis. The Food Town block, according to submitted proposals, may be torn down and replaced with a twelve-story mixed-use building that will include a large amount of restricted housing. This will change the very character of the community. The huge increase in congestion, and the many problems that consistently follow restricted housing will alter much of what makes this community one of the best places in the city to live. This is a pivotal moment in the existence of the neighborhood. Should the proposal become reality, the area will be forever and intolerably changed for the worse. It is up to every resident and every merchant to individually contact their elected representatives, community board personnel and civic associations to fight this terrible plan.

There are other attacks on the horizon. A proposal exists to base property taxes on the latest sales prices. This will lead to tremendously large hikes. Because New York City has a unique personal income tax, in addition to huge federal and state income taxes, it was always thought that this would take the place of large property levies. Many homeowners live on the edge of affordability because of the high state taxes imposed, combined with the city’s personal income tax. If property taxes are increased further, many residents will no longer be able to afford living in their own homes.

To be blunt, New York’s state and city government doesn’t pass laws or generally govern based on what is best for the citizenry.  It is devoted to a political philosophy of “fundamentally transforming” America, and doesn’t particularly care about issues of personal or property rights, public safety, common sense or sound fiscal policy.

That can be seen clearly in transportation strategies. The multi-faceted campaign to harass drivers out of their vehicles while not providing any adequate mass transit alternatives is a prime example. Imagine if every driver instead showed up at their local bus or subway stop. The system would collapse, and with it, the city economy.

Most recently, the absurd attacks on the police, and the restrictions on allowing them to do their jobs without being prosecuted or fired illustrates the ideological assault on city residents. Yes, of course, if an officer acts with excessive force or in a discriminatory manner, he or she should be penalized. But that has metamorphized into insane restrictions on the police doing their jobs. The consistent presumption that every time an officer takes action he or she is subject to intense inspection or criticism is, combined with the outrageously ignorant policies of no bail reform and toleration for criminal actions, destroying the safety of city residents. It should be noted that in some cities, the ideologues who defund the police appropriate funds to provide protection for themselves.

Adding to all this is the recurrent proposal to enact a stock transfer tax, a levy placed on every action in which a share of stock is transferred. The stock exchanges have already stated that they would leave New York if this occurred. New York would look like Detroit after the auto industry left.

The only good news is that all of these proposals, bringing restricted housing to the area, increasing property taxes, establishing a stock transfer tax and other insanities, can be avoided if each of you openly express your opposition and follow through at the ballot box.

More from Around NYC