Two affiliates of Extell Development gave a $100,000 donation to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a few weeks before he signed a law allowing Gary Barnett’s firm and four others to reap lucrative new development tax benefits, the New York Daily News reported. Those benefits are currently under investigation from a corruption task force that Cuomo himself created.
Two corporations – known as Elco Master LLC and 134 W 58 LLC – tied to Extell Financial Services each contributed $50,000 to Cuomo’s campaign in January. The state Assembly passed a housing bill the same day, and Cuomo signed it shortly after. Three weeks after the bill became law, Barnett submitted an additional $100,000 to a state Democratic Party account intended to finance Cuomo’s advertising.
Earlier this week, the Moreland Commission subpoenaed Barnett’s Extell, Silverstein Properties and Thor Equities, as well as Fisher Brothers and Friedman Management seeking reams of their correspondence with lobbyists and elected officials, as previously reported.
The panel is focusing on the circumstances surrounding the bill’s passage, which paved the way for the five developers to use 421-A tax abatements at projects around Manhattan, despite the projects appearing not to fit the criteria for the program. [NYDN] – Mark Maurer