Wednesday, August 15, 2012
11:14 AM Sue Susman
COMMITTEES: Children and Families, Cities, Health, Real Property Taxation
TASK FORCES: Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force
LEGISLATIVE CAUCUSES: Black, Puerto RIcan, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus; Women's Legislative Caucus
August 14, 2012
Honorable Sheldon Silver, Speaker
New York State Assembly
932 Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York 12248
Re: Condo/Co-Op Tax Abatement and J-51 Benefits for Real Estate Developers (A.10798)
Dear Speaker Silver:
During the last few weeks back in my district, my tenant constituents have expressed to me their grave concerns over the subject bill. While I am a sponsor of the bill, I have come to share their concern with the legislation as it is currently drafter. I am therefore writing to request substantive changes that would extend and expand protections for the thousands of renters and tenants in my district.
As it's currently written, Assembly Bill 10798 would give generous J-51 tax breaks to landlords but provide zero benefit or protection to renters. In fact, renters would be left to cover the $257 million in lost revenue while landlords would merely have to claim they've made improvements to their properties. As affordable housing becomes rarer in New York City, this is an inviting loophole that is likely to exacerbate the situation.
As you know, this spring the Rent Guidelines Board, an unelected board with almost no accountability to the residents of New York City, votes to raise rents yet again despite testimony from myself and others indicating the short sightedness of this approach. Unemployment and job insecurity are major issues for many families across our state. The Assembly's bill should recognize the reality of our current economic condition and reflect a more equitable and enlightened approach.
The Assembly has always prided itself in representing the 99%. We should maintain our strong stand for working families. I am therefore requesting an amendment of the legislation to strike a balance between economic incentives for business and the survival of our struggling families.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. As always, I look forward to standing with you on issues of concern to all New Yorkers.
Member of Assembly