The Real Deal New York

Groups lobbying over 421a among year’s top spenders: JCOPE

New York-focused lobbyists spent $243M total in 2015
April 08, 2016 12:36PM

The RSA's Joseph Strasburg and REBNY's John Banks

The RSA’s Joseph Strasburg and REBNY’s John Banks

Lobbying groups representing developers, landlord and construction laborers were among last year’s biggest political spenders.

The New York City and Vicinity Carpenters Labor Management Corporation, the Rent Stabilization Association and Putting New Yorkers to Work – a group tied to the Real Estate Board of New York – all made the list of 10 largest lobbying groups seeking to influence state and local governments in New York.

The carpenters union spent $3.1 million last year, the third largest figure on the list. Putting New Yorkers to work, which also launched a splashy ad campaign in May of last year, spent a total of $2 million, making it the sixth largest lobbyist. And the RSA, which represents multifamily owners and brokers, came in 10th, spending 1.4 million, according to an analysis by the Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE), Politico reported.

All three groups took part in the pitched battle over the 421a tax abatement, which ended with the program’s expiration earlier this year. Talks collapsed over REBNY and city construction unions’ failure to agree on prevailing wage requirements.

The expiration of the program is widely thought to be putting a damper on new rental development in the city. Its absence is also considered likely to weaken the impact of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recently-passed Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program.

In total, lobbying in the state hit $243 million in 2015, up from $225 million the previous year. [Politico]Ariel Stulberg