Thursday, February 24, 2011

Food fight over Brooklyn store in market for $2M tax break 

An angryly divided community board has voted to support a controversial tax break for a Midwood supermarket.

Supporters and opponents of the $2 million tax break for Moisha's Discount Supermarket clashed at a raucous Community Board 12 meeting Tuesday night over the plan - and allegations district manager Wolf Sender lied to city officials when he said the board supported the subsidy, even though members had never considered it.

"Stop trying to knock people that are trying to bring costs down," said Zvi Gluck, 30. "They're pillars of the community....People cannot afford to go to the high-end supermarkets."

City officials say the market, whose owners have given big money to local pols, qualifies for breaks targeted at neighborhoods desperate for fresh food, even though there are 10 other supermarkets in the area.

The vote to support Moisha's - which passed with 29 yes votes and six opponents abstaining in protest - came after a tumultuous meeting interrupted by screaming matches between board members and residents.

Sender was a no-show at the meeting, prompting chants of "Where is Wolf?" from some in the audience. CB12's chairman read an apology on his behalf.

"He is employed by our city and he lied," said neighbor Natalie Denicola. "He should be held accountable and be stripped of [his position]."

Board member Jacob Haas countered with a theatrical speech hailing the district manager as "our great hero," adding, "how could people in good conscience go and tread on as pure a soul as Wolf Sender?"

Store owner Moisha Binik said the city would benefit in the long run because his expansion would generate sales tax revenues.

"We found on the Internet that they were offering the credit," he said. "We didn't have any political people work for us."


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