LISTEN: Here’s why NYC developers are throwing so much cash at state politicians

"Money is about policy," TRD's Will Parker says on WNYC
October 18, 2017 01:35PM

From left: WNYC’s Jessica Gould TRD’s Will Parker and Wall Street Journal’s Cezary Podkul

Why do New York’s real estate elite insist on sending so much cash to upstate legislators? It’s simple: Albany calls the shots when it comes to New York City’s rent-stabilization laws and on billions of dollars in real estate tax subsidies annually.

The Real Deal’s Will Parker joined WNYC’s Jessica Gould and Wall Street Journal’s Cezary Podkul on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” Wednesday morning to discuss property, power and policy.

The show’s host, Brian Lehrer, asked Podkul and Parker about their 2016 investigation into campaign contributions by developers who collected the most 421a tax incentives in the city. These real estate players typically depend on state legislators, including Republicans from districts closer to Cleveland than Crown Heights, to vote ‘yea’ on industry-favorable tax subsidies and ‘nay’ on stricter rent regulations.

The reporters also talked about Aaron Carr’s Housing Rights Initiative, an advocacy group that’s trying to do state housing regulators’ work for them, as well as the contributions real estate players have made to city council candidates in the five boroughs.

Listen to the full segment below: