The Real Deal New York

Brownfields tax break recipients donated $650K to Cuomo

Related Cos. was largest giver with over $260K in contributions
July 29, 2014 02:20PM

Recipients of tax incentives to develop industrial sites in New York have contributed at least $650,000 to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s campaign fund over the past four years, according to a review of state data.

New York City developer Related Companies and its executives and affiliated entities have contributed a total of $262,700 to Cuomo, more than any other recipient, Bloomberg News reported. Related claimed $2.6 million in credits to develop the $500 million Bronx Terminal Market, according to the news site.

Related was one of Cuomo’s top donors in 2014, as The Real Deal previously reported.

The credits are offered to develop so-called brownfield sites that have been contaminated. However, 94 percent of the tax credits have been used to develop rather than clean up New York state’s brownfield sites, according to a study by researchers at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government and John Jay College.

“The brownfield credits were intended to remediate and restore blighted land, but they have functioned more as a real estate development program,” the report said.

A spokesperson for Governor Cuomo called the attempt to connect campaign contributions and the tax breaks “far-fetched” and said the administration has been actively pursuing reforms to the brownfields program. [Bloomberg News]Tom DiChristopher