Letters to the editor, May 25

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Bad old days are back on E. 14th St.

The following is an open letter to City Council Members Dan Garodnick and Rosie Mendez whose districts share a border along East 14th Street.

I would like to point out the present poor condition of street crossing on 14th Street and First Avenue.

A homeless man sleeps at a street corner.

Please note:
Southeast corner:
Homeless people on the corner in front of T-Mobile and McDonald’s
Garbage cans overflowing, papers spread out from First Avenue to half of the block
Grease and dirt underneath the garbage cans
Streetlight missing in bus station, stump is still there, but light was removed 20 years ago
Nonfunctioning emergency pole – an eyesore
Bus station not long enough, stopped buses block pedestrian walk

Filthy sidewalk with a stump for missing street light

Northeast corner:
Streetlight missing in bus station, stump is still there, but light was removed 20 years ago
Northbound M15 buses do not fully pull into the busstop bay, therefore blocking the pedestrian walk and block the pedestrian traffic sign, when walking west to east
Free newspaper stand used for garbage dump

A newspaper box on its side

Northwest corner:
Outside Papaya Dog, a real disgrace, the garbage bags are leaking, grease everywhere in front of the restaurant’s sidewalk and bicycle lane, this sidewalk stinks in hot weather from the grease, the street drain logged from grease
Free newspaper stands dropped sidewise, or used as sitting bench to new internet point.
Household garbage loose on sidewalk
Transport palates dropped in front of CVS Store for days now, quite dangerous for pedestrians

I am certain that 86th Street and First Avenue looks completely different.

Thank you for your attention.

Hermann Reiner

Stuy Town’s wee hours wakeup call

Re: “Fed up with basketball noise, ST man aims to get rid of playground,” T&V, May 18

FYI Stuart Levinson: Every Friday and Saturday night from midnight until 3 a.m. or so our young fellow residents return very vocally from their night out. They come in waves shouting, crying or simply talking under our windows. Comedy but mostly drama to wake us up. Security is great but they would have to have a command post in front of the entrances shushing the revelers to protect our sleep.

Have an answer?

Mary Travers, ST

Trump’s tax plan will help NYers

To the Editor:

The letter in your May 18 edition titled “More money than brains” could more aptly be titled “More Emotion than Facts.”

It transitions to an attack on Trump by saying: “Trump’s tax ‘plan’ which redirects our investing …”. Tax plans are about where tax revenue will come from. They say nothing about how that revenue will be invested or used. Referring to Trump’s tax plan, the letter says: “We the People will be giving a sizeable chunk of our hard-earned money to the wealthiest.” Tax plans don’t transfer money from one group of taxpayers to another.

Later, the letter says: “Republicans are plunging us into a huge debt.” It was during the prior eight years of the Obama presidency that America was plunged into huge debt. Obama increased our national debt by $9.4 trillion to $19.4 trillion. The cumulative national debt of all prior presidencies, combined, was only $10.0 trillion. (Data from Wikipedia.)

After reading like a Democrat message, the letter has a Republican conclusion: “Our labor fills the coffers of the U.S. Treasury”, and we should “do something about it.” That “something” is less government spending to enable less taxation.

How will Trump’s tax plan affect your taxes? The heart of the plan is a doubling of the standard deduction, and elimination of all itemized deductions, except charitable contributions and mortgage interest. This is a significant benefit for the average PCVST resident. For a married couple, the standard deduction is increased by $12,700. As renters they don’t have a prior real estate tax deduction to lose, and the loss of their deduction for NY state and city taxes doesn’t eat-up the $12,700 increase in the standard deduction until taxable NY income exceeds $150,000.

These amounts for a PCVST married couple with two dependent children, and also for a PCVST married couple with both spouses over 65, are a $15,100 increase in the standard deduction and NY income in excess of $175,000.

For PCVST individual filers the amounts are a $6,350 increase in deduction and NY income in excess of $80,000.

For lower income families, doubling the standard deduction, in conjunction with elimination of itemized deductions, is a big help. They have few itemized deductions to lose, so most or all, of the increased standard deduction is available to shield their income from tax.

The benefit of Trump’s tax plan is a lot bigger for residents who rent in most other states. Their state and local income taxes are lower. Therefore, the amount of existing deduction lost by eliminating the itemized deduction for these taxes is less. And more of the increased standard deduction remains available to reduce taxable income.

Floyd Smith, PCV

2 thoughts on “Letters to the editor, May 25

  1. I agree Herman, yet there are people who still back this mayor. Other than crime, this city has gotten significantly worse during DeBlasio’s term. Sure it’s nice feeling safe, but who wants to live in the re-creation of the 1980’s in all other aspects? Not I.

  2. Trump’s tax plan should not be viewed in any other way that the absolute amounts returned or saved. Like my Geo W Bush tax refund. I remember getting it but I don’t remember the amount because it was so forgettable.

    When reporters started pointing out how inconsequential the savings or refunds were for most people, Geo W started saying things like…”Well, for some folks $300 means a lot.”

    More GOP baloney. $300 means nothing today.

    What we should be looking at is real business tax avoidance that hasn’t changed. Take Trump himself. Ever wonder how he got a personal deduction of close to a $1B on his 2005 return? Because he doesn’t pay corporate tax. As big as his dealings are, he sets up his businesses as LLCs where the profits and losses are reported as personal income.

    There are many outs, benefits and loopholes available to businesses, particularly to real estate developers. And these days the city itself is eager to reduce developer risk, almost becoming a partner to ensure that these business don’t fail. Something even GOP god Adam Smith actually warned against (coincidentally) in 1776.

    So don’t be fooled by any misdirection about Trump’s tax plan. It’s going to mean very little to most people, and a great deal to the wealthy, particularly when the GOP does away with the estate tax. (Emergency call out to Frank Luntz to crank up the right wing spin.machine.)

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