Wolf Sender allegedly told the NYC's Industrial Development Agency that Community Board 12 backed $2 million in tax breaks for Moisha's Kosher Supermarket even though Sender never brought the issue before the board. The tax breaks were meant to establish supermarkets selling fresh produce in economically depressed areas of NYC where access to fresh produce and other groceries is limited. Moisha's does not meet the program's requirements, critics say.
Boro Park: Lies, Tax Breaks & Controversy At Community Board Showdown Tonight
Simon Schecter • FlatbushScoop.com
The monthly Community Board 12 (CB12) meeting is taking place tonight, and is sure to be quite a spectacle. This meeting has gained attention of Brooklyn residents because of the recent controversy regarding millions in tax breaks that are pending approval to assist Moisha’s Supermarket with a large expansion of of their store on Avenue M in Midwood.
The District Manager of CB12 reportedly told NYC’s Industrial Development Agency (IDA) that the Board backed the nearly $2 million tax break, when in fact, he had never even discussed the matter with the Board. The IDA has already given preliminary approval to the tax break, but a final vote will take place next month.
Coverage of this controversy by a daily Jewish newspaper failed to mention the basic facts of the controversy – that the District Manager lied to the city agency reviewing the tax break by claiming that the Community Board approved the tax break. That is the main controversy behind tonight’s meeting. In fact, several Community Board members told FlatbushScoop.com that while they support Moisha’s expansion they would not support $2 million in tax breaks during these difficult financial times. Said one, “when the city is cutting basic services it doesn’t make sense to spend millions of dollars to help a private profitable business.”
The daily Jewish newspaper writes their article as seeming defense of the project focusing on the few complaints from Kensington political activists who claim that the millions in city funds money will be used to build a parking lot for the store, when, in fact, the owner of the store states that is not the case.
Backers of the project are trying to rally their own supporters to tonight’s meeting to counter the protesters. However, one long-time member of the board explained that visitors to tonight’s community board may be disappointed. “There will only be discussion tonight over this matter, not any vote. Our rules require a committee hearing on all matters before a vote is held. The relevant committee has not met on this issue, therefore, there can not be a vote tonight on this matter.”
We’re further told that, in reality, the issue that is vexing community board members is not ‘if’ the store should expand but 1) whether the store should get millions in tax breaks or not and 2) how a $2 million tax break was approved without CB12 voting on the decision, and finally 3) why did the the District Manager lie to the city agency responsible for the tax break telling them that is was supported by the community board?
Finally, the daily Jewish newspaper closed their article with a baseless report that a “source close to the Board” told them, than an “active campaign is underway to reduce Chassidic representation on the Board”. We spoke to many board members who said that was simply untrue. “In recent months we’ve actually seen more chasidim appointed to this board than ever before,” said the long-time board member. “The idea that there is an effort to reduce Chasidishe representation is simply false propaganda by those who are seeking to inflame the situation.”
FlatbushScoop.com will be at the Community Board tonight to cover this important meeting – but feel free to attend as well. The meeting is open to the public.
Community Board 12 Monthly Meeting, 7:00pm, at Amico Senior Center, 5910 13th Avenue, 3rd floor.
I hear criminal charges against Wolf Sender are likely.