The Real Deal New York

Dozens of Silver’s real estate clients said to get tax breaks

Controversial 421a program supported by Speaker reportedly benefits at least 27 landlords
January 05, 2015 11:43AM

At least 27 clients of a real estate law firm that Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver works for received state-authorized tax breaks from the 421a program — a program that he helped pass.

Reports surfaced last month that Silver is being investigated by federal authorities for receiving “substantial payments” from real estate firm Goldberg & Iryami without reporting that income on his financial disclosures. The Speaker has never indicated he worked for the firm.

Silver has regularly used his position as Speaker to help lower taxes for developers, according Capital New York, including supporting the renewal of controversial 421a tax breaks that are meant to provide incentives to develop underused or unused land.

A new analysis by Capital New York shows that there are 1,294 active petitions for reassessment of property taxes by real estate developers retaining Goldberg & Iryami as counsel. At least 27 of those properties separately receive 421a tax breaks.

Many of the petitions for reassessment were submitted by large developers including Leonard Litwin and Baruch Singer.

It is still unclear in what capacity Silver worked for Goldberg & Iryami. [Capital NY] — Tess Hofmann