REBNY’s core operations show slimmest profit margin in years

Legal fees spike 171 percent in 2013: tax filing

TRD New York /
February 09, 2015 03:58 PM

The Real Estate Board of New York’s balance sheet showed its narrowest operating-profit margin in recent years, as the city’s most powerful lobbying group saw its legal bills spike 171 percent, according to the nonprofit’s most recently available tax filings.

REBNY posted a gain of $47,593 on its essential business operations such as collecting member dues and putting on the group’s yearly gala in 2013, down from roughly $830,000 the year before, its 2013 tax forms filed with the federal government show.

The sum is by far the lowest the group has posted since at least 2004, when operating profits checked in at $55,770. Profits from core business operations reached their highest point in 2008 at $1.2 million, and have fallen every year since except for one year.

When other gains outside of the group’s core operations were considered, however, the nonprofit showed a bump just shy of 20 percent to its bottom line.

While revenue grew slightly more than 8 percent in 2013 to $11.8 million, expenses grew just shy of 17 percent to $11.7 million. Spending on legal fees leaped 171 percent to $607,530. REBNY was not immediately available to comment on the legal expenses.

Membership dues climbed less than 1 percent to $7.9 million and profits from the annual banquet ticked up nominally to $1.3 million. When gains on investments and a pension adjustment totaling $745,803 were considered on top of the 2013 starting balance, the board’s bottom line showed a 19 percent increase on the year to $4.9 million.

REBNY President Steven Spinola, who is stepping down later this year, got an 8 percent raise, but despite this fact his overall compensation declined.

He earned a base salary of $709,781 in 2013, but the $55,125 bonus he received was roughly a quarter of the nearly $200,000 one he got the year before. When retirement and non-taxable benefits are factored in, Spinola took home a total of $858,240, down about 7 percent from 2012.

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