Spinola took home nearly $1M during last full year leading REBNY

Lobbying group charged $1M “consulting fee” to pro-biz affiliate: tax filings

Steven Spinola REBNY
Former REBNY president Steven Spinola

Former Real Estate Board of New York President Steven Spinola took home nearly a million dollars during his last full year at the helm of the trade group, tax filings show.

Spinola, who stepped down last year after a nearly three-decade tenure, earned a total compensation of $956,781 in 2014, according REBNY’s most recently available tax forms.

That includes a base salary of nearly $752,000 and a bonus of about $113,000, plus other benefits. His 2014 compensation package was 11.5 percent greater than the previous year’s, and likely the most he ever received as head of REBNY.

The salary for Spinola’s successor, current president John Banks, was not available. Banks joined REBNY in early 2015 and took over as president following a transition period of several months.

REBNY’s revenues grew 15.6 percent in 2013 to $13.6 million and expenses clocked in at $13.5 million. The trade group had a balance of $5.38 million at the end of the year.

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Member dues rose 7.55 percent to $8.48 million, and total compensation for all employees grew slightly to $1.72 million.

REBNY spent a little more than $500,000 on its annual gala – where attendees this year expressed a sense of anxiety over the state of the real estate market – and took in $1.8 million.

The board did curiously boost its balance sheet in 2014 with a $1 million consulting fee charged to an affiliated pro-business group.

Taxpayers for an Affordable New York, Inc. – a REBNY-controlled nonprofit that is a separate entity from the Political Action Committee by the same name – paid a $1.05 million consulting fee to the board right before the end of the calendar year.

A spokesperson for REBNY did not immediately respond to requests for comment.