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


  • JEng

    That’s not necessarily illegal – they could have just understood the program and knew how to use it and maybe there are a lot of people who used that program. I would LOVE for there to be an unfair reason why our property taxes are assessed so high. And I definitely think a case can be made that government unless MAYBE in this case – is biased against small owners in a way that government would never impose on themselves.

    • Marc

      There’s so much sleazy crap going on. By dumb luck I stumbled upon a program being offered by an agency of NY state that was so generous it was ridiculous. Essentially I was going to be able to do a $70,000 upgrade related to my property and it would only cost me $13,000. The private contractor knew the ropes with the paperwork needed and were very helpful……..and then they stopped taking my calls and that’s after spending a lot of time on this. You see I wasn’t supposed to know about it. Only the larger connected ones. By the time the program gets announced the big players are already benefitting and everyone else is shut out as funds are limited by the state.
      Mr. Silver may or may not be guilty of corruption but if I had to bet either way I have no doubt where my money would go. Sleazy politics.

  • JEng

    Is Sheldon Silver pro rent regulation? I imagine he is.

    How do landlords who are against the increased regulation and extension of rent regulations supposed to fight this?

    Who do we contact?