Budgeting initiative gives Queens residents a say

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Some Queens residents will soon have another say in where their tax dollars go.

The city’s second year “participatory budgeting” initiative will allow eight City Council districts — including three in Queens — to choose which physical infrastructure projects they will fund in their neighborhoods this year.

The $10 million budget, officials said, is completely composed of discretionary capital public money. Funds allocated to the project and the number of districts involved have both doubled since its inception last year.

“It’s completely in your hands,” said Councilmember Dan Halloran, who will allocate at least $1 million to his 19th District. “The number of people you get involved in your community will control where this goes.”

Community members will exchange and propose ideas from September to April, officials said. A vote by district residents to finalize various projects will take place next year in March.

In Queens, the 23rd District in the northeast and the 32nd District in the southwest are also partaking in the project. Delegate committees will be set up in each district during the process.