421a talks reportedly improving ahead of deadline

Development tax break expires Jan. 15 if real estate lobby, construction unions can't reach deal
January 07, 2016 01:40PM

The clock continues to tick toward the expiration of the 421a tax break on Jan. 15, but negotiations over the abatement’s future between the city’s real estate lobby and its building union interests are reportedly improving.

While talks stalled for months in the fall, the two sides are talking regularly and are scheduled to meet again today. Though the tone of discussions have improved, sources involved in the negotiations reportedly still harbor doubts that a deal will be reached by this month’s deadline.

“There have been more productive conversations,” an anonymous source told Politico. “I think the sites are much closer together than the last time [we] spoke about this. Towards the end of December, there were fruitful conversations.”

The state law governing 421a expired in June, leading to a last minute, end-of-session legislative package that brought a short-term, six-month renewal of the affordable housing tax break.

But Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that any future deal leading to a permanent renewal of the abatement must include some form of prevailing wage requirement for construction workers on projects benefitting from 421a – namely buildings with more than 15 units. [Politico]Rey Mashayekhi