The Real Deal New York

New coalition to take on city’s tax break programs

The task force is comprised of activists, city council members and some business leaders
February 24, 2015 09:05AM

A coalition, lead by City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, is planning to study the city’s tax break programs and issue a report about them at the end of the year.

The group, which calls itself the Task Force on Evaluating Economic Development Tax Expenditures, is comprised of activists, city council members and some business leaders, according to Capital New York.

The 421a tax abatement, which is set to expire in June, will be first and foremost on the task force’s agenda, the website reported. Activists have been calling to an end of the tax break recently, which they say only aids developers to build more luxury housing. Mayor Bill de Blasio will probably not support a full elimination of the program, the website reported, but has promised to work on rent reform in Albany.

“The city gives tax breaks to achieve important goals like encouraging investment, helping to diversify our economy and creating good jobs and it’s critical for us to know how well they are working,” Mark-Viverito said in a statement cited by Capital. “I am proud of the accomplished group we’ve assembled to assist the Council in making sure that these breaks help grow our businesses big and small, improve our economy and create good-paying jobs for New Yorkers, rather than wasting taxpayer dollars.” [Capital NY] — Claire Moses