The Real Deal New York

Here’s how much John Banks made during his second year at REBNY

Trade group president earned nearly $780K, while Spinola remained on payroll as president emeritus
By Rich Bockmann | May 02, 2018 12:30PM

John Banks, Steve Spinola, and 570 Lexington Avenue

Real Estate Board of New York president John Banks received a raise during his second year at the helm of the industry’s biggest advocacy group. And his predecessor pulled in a sizable paycheck as a special adviser.

Banks took home a total compensation of slightly more than $798,000 in 2016, according to REBNY’s most recently available tax filings for that year. That was a roughly 27 percent raise of the compensation package he earned in 2015.

Banks spent much of his first year working on a replacement for the lucrative 421a tax break, which was passed in 2017 and seen as a major policy win for the industry.

Former REBNY president Stephen Spinola, meanwhile, remained on the payroll as president emeritus one year after he stepped down for the organization he had helmed for three decades.

It’s a common practice for nonprofits and universities to keep former presidents on in that position, and a spokesperson for REBNY said Spinola in his role “provides on-going advice, counsel and service to REBNY.”

Spinola, who since retiring has joined the board of directors at the Lightstone Group’s non-traded real estate investment trust, earned a total compensation from REBNY in 2016 of roughly $510,000 as president emeritus. His compensation package for his last year as president in 2015 was almost $869,000.

Total salaries and wages at the board totaled $2.8 million in 2016, about 24 percent from the year before.

In more recent news, REBNY late last year offered buyout packages to the majority of its members, with some longtime employees deciding to accept. And earlier this year John Doyle, the group’s longtime City Council lobbyist, announced his retirement.

When it came to the balance sheet, revenues increased in 2016 by 2.5 percent to $13.94 million. Expenses fell by more than 2 percent to $12.99 million.

Membership dues rose by 3.5 percent to $9.75 million.