421a’s got a new name: “Affordable New York”

In interview with Catsimatidis, Cuomo unveils tax cut rebranding, will send bill to legislature today

Jan.January 15, 2017 11:30 AM
Andrew Cuomo and John Catsimatidis

Andrew Cuomo and John Catsimatidis

421a is deader than ever.

But that’s just because the forthcoming bill to revive the developer tax cut, which costs the city over $1 billion in property tax revenue annually, won’t be called 421a anymore.

“We call it ‘Affordable New York’,”Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a Sunday morning radio interview with developer and grocery mogul John Catsimatidis, according to the New York Daily News. “It has been signed off by the real estate community and the labor unions.”

Cuomo said the new program would create 2,500 units of new affordable housing per year and that he is sending the proposed legislation to lawmakers later Sunday. He’s expected to privately brief legislators on his comprehensive 2017-2018 budget proposals on Tuesday.

For more than a year, the 421a abatement that saves developers big in taxes and creates some affordable housing has been unavailable for new development projects, following a sunset of the previous law in January of 2016.  In December, The Real Deal and ProPublica published a detailed analysis of how the industry bankrolls state legislators who are sympathetic to 421a.

Cuomo had said he would not sign a new bill until the two largest lobbying groups for real estate developers and construction workers worked out a deal on higher worker wages. He got his wish in November, when the Real Estate Board of New York and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York announced a deal bringing higher wages to workers at large projects in prime locations. 

Apart from 421a, Cuomo told Catsimatidis he hoped legislators would now release $2 billion in funding for homeless and supportive affordable housing. [NYDN]Will Parker

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