Gillibrand bill gives credit to biz backers

As the November congressional election draws closer, City Councilman Dan Halloran (l.) and state Assemblywoman Grace Meng stake out their respective political territories through news conferences and trips. Photos by Christina Santucci
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U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) unveiled proposed tax breaks for small business owners alongside state Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) at a Flushing auto repair shop run by Audra Fordin, the fourth generation of her family to take the reins, but the first woman.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the most powerful job creators we have,” Gillibrand said.

The proposed bill would promote private investment in small businesses by waiving capital gains taxes for anyone who purchases stock in them, and it would also grant increased tax deductions for new businesses related to start-up costs like conducting consumer surveys, training employees or advertising and tax write-offs for initial purchases of machinery or equipment.

Meng and Gillibrand focused especially on women-owned businesses, which according to Gillibrand make up 30 percent of businesses in New York state yet typically start out with eight times less capital than companies started by men.

Meng, speaking at Great Bear Auto Repair and Auto Body Shop, at 164-16 Sanford Ave., said women-owned companies are becoming a crucial job-creating engine in the economy.

“Nowhere is the growth of women-owned businesses more evident than here in New York state, New York City and Queens,” she said. “Critical to supporting and sustaining this trend for small business owners is ensuring access to credit and capital as well as tax credits for hiring and health care through the Affordable Care Act. These will be my priorities in Congress.”

Meng has painted herself as a defender of women’s rights in the race. She also recently picked up the endorsement of former Mayor Ed Koch.

But City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) picked up some endorsements of his own from a trip overseas.

The Republican got the nod from Israeli officials during his three-day trip last week, including endorsements from Danny Danon, deputy speaker of the country’s legislature, known as the Knesset, and Yaakov Katz, a member of the Knesset and leader of the National Union Party.

“Now that I’ve been to Israel, seen its sights and met its people, I have an even greater appreciation for the dangers it faces,” Halloran said in a statement. “Israel is truly our first line of defense in the war against terrorism. And as a democracy in a sea of instability and dictatorships, it’s a beacon of hope for the whole world.”

Meng’s camp attacked the trip as “politically timed” and said “Grace Meng visited and took interest in Israel long before this congressional election, while Dan Halloran was busy trying to get the most anti-Israel member of Congress, Ron Paul, elected to the presidency.”

But Halloran shot back that Meng was not endorsed by any Israeli leaders nor did she visit any troubled areas of the country.

Halloran visited several sights around Jerusalem, including the Holocaust Museum and the Mount Olives neighborhood before visiting the City of David and stopping at the Western Wall.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 10:32 pm, August 22, 2012
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