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Give NYC pizzerias tax break to comply with costly emissions crackdown: pie-loving pol

Big Apple pizzerias and other businesses that use coal- and wood-fired ovens should be given public dough -- in the form of a tax break -- to comply with a new emissions rule, a pie-loving Brooklyn pol says.
Big Apple pizzerias and other businesses that use coal- and wood-fired ovens should be given public dough -- in the form of a tax break -- to comply with a new emissions rule, a pie-loving Brooklyn pol says.

Big Apple pizzerias and other businesses that use coal- and wood-fired ovens should be given public dough — in the form of a tax break — to comply with a new emissions rule, a pie-loving Brooklyn pol says.

The Adams’ administration’s controversial reg — which goes into effect April 27 — is already costing some eateries tens of thousands of dollars to install filtration systems to reduce their smoky pollutants by the mandated 75%.

Without financial help, some of the city’s beloved famous pizza joints could go up in smoke or at the very least, hike up the cost of Big Apple pies — which are already the most expensive in the country.

“When it comes to our environment, I’ve always believed we should be incentivizing and assisting instead of immediately punishing,” said City Councilman Justin Brannan, the Finance Committee’s chair, to the Post on Monday.

Businesses that use coal- and wood-fired ovens should be given public dough to comply with a new emissions rule, a pie-loving Brooklyn pol says. Jonathan Barth
Businesses that use coal- and wood-fired ovens should be given public dough to comply with a new emissions rule, a pie-loving Brooklyn pol says. Jonathan Barth

Brannan — whose district includes slice-loving Bay Ridge and Coney Island — is proposing a tax break for the estimated 130 city pizzerias, matzah-makers and other businesses impacted by the new anti-pollution rule.

“If the goal here is truly to reduce the emissions produced by these old-school ovens and not to raise revenue by issuing more fines to our beloved small businesses, then let’s help these pizzerias comply instead of setting them up to fail,” Brannan said.

City Councilman Justin Brannan is proposing a tax break for the estimated 130 city pizzerias, matzah-makers and other businesses impacted by the new anti-pollution rule. Gregory P. Mango
City Councilman Justin Brannan is proposing a tax break for the estimated 130 city pizzerias, matzah-makers and other businesses impacted by the new anti-pollution rule. Gregory P. Mango

“I’m confident we can come up with a solution so nobody gets burned,” the pol said.

“To that end, I have been working on a bill that would work with Albany to create a tax credit to help the affected businesses purchase and install the necessary smoke-reduction emissions exhaust systems.”

Brannan said he’s still working on the details and hasn’t calculated what the tax credit or break would be for the dough-flippers and bakers and what it would cost the city and state treasury.

But he said it wouldn’t break the bank.

The councilman said he has been fielding calls from worried affected business owners in his district.

Mayor Eric Adams’ administration is enforcing a 2015 law approved by the City Council and his predecessor, former Mayor Bill de Blasio, requiring pollutant-spewing coal- and wood-fired pizzerias to dramatically curb their unhealthy emission of particulate matter, which is known to cause asthma and other respiratory ills.

Some of the city’s beloved famous pizza joints could go up in smoke or at the very least, hike up the cost of Big Apple pies. Getty Images
Some of the city’s beloved famous pizza joints could go up in smoke or at the very least, hike up the cost of Big Apple pies. Getty Images

“The scientific evidence is clear that reducing emissions of fine particulate matter will improve the health of New Yorkers and reduce hospital visits and costs, without changing the amazing taste of NYC pizza,” city Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Edward Timbers told The Post on Sunday.

But New York pizza aficionados said the rule stinks.

“Pizza is a lifeline to this city. We must protect it at all costs. Ban private jets and commuter helicopters, and then come back and see me about this,” Luke Failla said in recent online comments to the city DEP.

A DEP rep, responding on behalf of the mayor, said it will review Brannan’s bill once it is drafted.

“All New Yorkers deserve to breathe healthy air, and wood- and coal-fired stoves are among the largest contributors of harmful pollutants in neighborhoods with poor air quality,” said DEP spokesman Edward Timbers.

“This common-sense rule was developed with restaurant owners and environmental justice groups and is a product of years of review. We are confident that these critical upgrades will allow us to cut harmful emissions and prioritize New Yorkers’ health, while preserving authentic New York City pizza.”

The agency noted that eateries facing hardships complying with the rule can file for a waiver. It has yet to receive any.