Cuomo’s 421a vision beginning to take shape

Potential tax break could last up to 45 years, require $60 wage on certain projects

TRD New York /
Nov.November 04, 2016 08:40 AM

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to bring back the expired 421a tax exemption is gaining steam, with talks about extending its lifespan up to 45 years and requiring an average wage of at least $60 per hour for labor on certain projects.

The governor has been meeting with developers and labor leaders on 421a for some time now, but Politico reports that those talks are beginning to hash out a plan to bring back the tax break that expired in January.

The potential agreement coming to the table after the past several weeks include reinstating the program and extending its life for up to 45 years, sources told the news website.

Under the old program, recipients benefited from the tax break for 25 years, a timespan that a failed attempt in Albany last year to save the program would have pushed up to 35 years in exchange for including below-market-rate apartments.

Talks no include requiring an average wage of $60 per hour for labor on projects of 300 apartments or more in large parts of Manhattan and areas on the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront.

The state would not subsidize those wages, a pitch that was put on the table over the summer.

“While discussions between all parties continue — as they have for months — with the goal of reaching a deal on 421-a, there is currently no agreement,” Cuomo press secretary Dani Lever said in an email to Politico.

A spokesperson for the Real Estate Board of New York declined to comment, and Gary LaBarbera, head of the Building and Construction Trades Council, did not comment.

Any plan to replace or reinstate 421a would have to go through Albany, where the balance of power is up for grabs in Tuesday’s election. The tax break expired in January when real estate and labor interests couldn’t come to an agreement on wage provisions. [Politico]Rich Bockmann


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