Community not-for-profit groups in the Region of Queens Municipality (RQM) now will have to ante up if they wish to apply for a special area rate.
RQM council members passed a new policy reflecting the rule at their meeting Nov. 9.
Applicants will be required to provide a non-refundable application fee from $250 to $1,500, with the amount depending on the number of public meetings and whether a full day’s vote is required to accommodate the request.
The cost is to help pay for newspaper advertisements, hall rentals and election workers if needed.
Additionally, the proposed new policy allows anyone who owns property in the assessment district or districts under consideration to cast a vote, as opposed to the old practice of only including eligible voters.
The new policy also sees a change in the application deadline to Jan. 15 from the previous deadline of Feb. 1 to better allow for consideration during the same fiscal year.
There is currently one area rate being applied in Queens County and that is for assessment districts five and six. Property owners are paying an extra six cents on their tax rate per $100 worth of property tax assessment. Four-and-a-half cents go to support the Brooklyn Recreation Committee and the remaining one-and-a-half cents go toward the Brooklyn Cemetery Committee.
Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin