421-a abatements cluster in wealthy areas: report

June 21, 2013 03:30PM

The majority of residential properties that receive 421-a tax abatements are located in the city’s wealthier areas, the Village Voice reported, citing a new map from the New York City Independent Budget Office. A disproportionate share of buildings that receive the exemption are clustered in Manhattan, especially on the Upper East Side, and in riverfront Brooklyn districts, like Williamsburg.

Over 150,000 units in the city receive the break. In all, 421-a costs the city $1 billion in uncollected revenue, the Village Voice said. Condominiums also receive the tax break more frequently than co-op units, according to the map provided by the budget office.

The 421-a break gives exemptions to residential buildings for between 10 to 25 years. But it comes as a trade-off, as developers who receive them commonly have to incorporate affordable housing either into the project or in another location.

The program also guarantees certain wages for service workers at large residential projects. In April, doormen and porters at buildings including L Haus in Long Island City, Arias Park Slope and the Georgica building on the Upper East Side charged that they had not received the $22 hourly rate they are guaranteed by law, as previously reported. [Village Voice]Zachary Kussin