Cuomo and REBNY talk 421a, but its future is still unclear

Mayor Bill de Blasio also called on Albany to renew the program

<em>From left: Gov. Andrew Cuomo and John Banks III</em>
From left: Gov. Andrew Cuomo and John Banks III

While Mayor Bill de Blasio urged Albany to renew 421a, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the Real Estate Board of New York met behind closed doors to discuss the tax break.

Sources told Politico that the governor, REBNY President John Banks and other members of the organization met on Wednesday to discuss the defunct program. It’s not yet clear what came of these discussions.

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Earlier this month, Gary LaBarbera, president of the Building & Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, hinted that that governor may put forward his own plan to replace the program. Cuomo has come out strongly in favor of the unions in the 421a debate and has made clear that he won’t approve any tax abatement program unless it’s deemed a “fair deal by organized labor and by the building trades.”

LaBarbera said the council has put alternative programs on the table, but REBNY has rejected each of them. The two groups came close to a compromise — one that would have included condominiums in the program — before 421a expired in January, but those talks ultimately fell apart due to “too much political angst,” LaBarbera said.

Meanwhile at the New York State Association for Affordable Housing’s conference, de Blasio called on affordable housing developers to pressure Albany to pass a reformed 421a before the legislative session ends in June. [Politico]Kathryn Brenzel