Bill Proposes Tax Credits for Security Cameras

FILE - A security camera hangs on the side a School. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
FILE – A security camera hangs on the side a School. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Inspired by the increasing role that security footage has played in crime solving and prevention, State Senator Martin Golden (R-NY) and Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-NY) announced a bill that would grant tax credits to individuals for installing surveillance cameras on their property.

“This is not the way of the future, this is the way of now,” Mr. Hikind told Hamodia. “We live in a time when regular concerns over crime are compounded by the unfortunate realities of terrorism and the more eyes there are watching the more likely it is that we can prevent these incidents or at least catch the perpetrators. It’s common sense to give people an incentive to install them.”

Under the bill, owners of both private residences and commercial property anywhere in New York City would be able to claim a $500 tax credit for the installation of a CCTV system. Prices of cameras and installation vary greatly ranging from the high hundreds to the thousands of dollars depending on the details of the system used.

The announcement was made Thursday morning on Avenue M, the site of a brutal attack on a 60-year old member of the community in December. Video footage proved essential in the eventual arrest of his assailants.

“Surveillance cameras are an effective tool in reducing crime and protecting citizens,” said Sen. Golden the bill’s sponsor in the State Senate. “It is extremely important to utilize every crime fighting tool available to assist the NYPD in their investigations and quickly apprehend perpetrators.”

In recent years, the Boro Park, Midwood, and Flatbush communities have installed an increasing number of security cameras. Mr. Hikind played a key role in securing funds for surveillance devices at neighborhood subway entrances and platforms, as well as in various locations throughout the community.

Robert Moskovitz, Executive Coordinator for Flatbush Shomrim, told Hamodia that surveillance footage has played an increasing role in law enforcement in recent years.

“It’s a great tool for prevention, if a burglar sees a house with a camera, he’ll go to the next one, and as far as catching criminals, the first thing we look for is if there’s a video; it’s our best crime-fighting tool.”

Mr. Moskowitz said that in many cases, camera footage allows police to link perpetrators to other crimes aiding not only for identification, but in helping prosecutors to build fuller cases against criminals.

“Even when it doesn’t solve that specific crime, it pays off down the road.”