Urgent Action Needed: Stop A.3354


STOP A.3354 / S.2320 - last year's "BIG UGLY" and this year's DISASTER.

Tell your Assembly Member 
  • get off the bill, 
  • refuse to vote for it, 
  • and to sign A.M. Linda Rosenthal's letter in opposition.  (If he or she has already done it, THANK 'em.)

And call Assembly Ways & Means Chair Herman Denny Farrell (518-455-5491) and Assembly Housing Committee Chair Keith Wright (518-455-4793) and tell them: 
  • Stop the special 421a carveouts to benefit individual buildings!
  • The state legislature shouldn't spend hundreds of millions of tax dollars of the city's money without listening to how the city wants to target the benefit.
See State Senate Ruben Diaz presenting tenants' talking points. 

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is urging the Assembly Members to vote for A3354., a bad housing bill (S2320) passed two days ago by the State Senate.

(1)  Call your Assembly Member(s). 
    (a) Ask them to sign the letter against this bill being circulated by Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal. 
    (b) Ask them to vote against this pro-landlord bill.

(2)  Call Assembly Member Keith Wright’s office. Wright is the newly-appointed chair of the Assembly Housing Committee who is the lead sponsor of this bad bill. Tell whoever answers the phone that this is a landlord bill and he should be ashamed of himself for introducing it. His Harlem district office is (212) 866-5809. His Albany office is (518) 455-4793.

(3)  Call Assembly Member Denny Farrell, chair of the Ways & Means Committee. Farrell has refused to put his name on the bill, but has said he is going to report it from Ways & Means to the Assembly floor, and has said that he will vote for it. Tell whoever answers the phone that he should kill this bill. Farrell’s upper Manhattan office is (212) 234-1430. His Albany number is (518) 455-5491.


► It authorizes 421-A tax giveaways to five luxury housing developments currently under construction in Manhattan, including One57, the “billionaires’ tower” on West 57th Street and Seventh Avenue – luxury buildings that are currently ineligible for a 421-a giveaway.

► It renews the J-51 tax subsidy program, but allows it to used for luxury housing and cosmetic improvements, and lets landlords get  an additional 50% of their costs from an MCI (without telling tenants about it).  

 There are no any improvements to the rent laws except for two significant changes to the Loft Law that will benefit a few hundred loft tenants;

► It renews the tax subsidy for market rate coops and condos, allowing shareholders and condo owners to continue to pay reduced real property taxes as if they were 1 or 2 family homes;

The lead sponsor of A3354 is Keith L.T. Wright (Dem. Manhattan), the newly-appointed chair of the Assembly Housing Committee.

Co-sponsors (all Democrats) are:

Edward Braunstein               (Queens)
Sheldon Silver (Speaker)     (Manhattan)
Ron Kim                                 (Queens)
David Weprin                        (Queens)
Michael Simanowitz              (Queens)
Michael DenDekker *           (Queens)
Steven Cymbrowitz               (Brooklyn)

Multi-sponsors (a step down from co-sponsor) (all Democrats)

Carmen Arroyo                      (Bronx)
Michael Benedetto                (Bronx)
William Boyland                    (Brooklyn)
James Brennan                     (Brooklyn) Has removed his name from the bill
Alec Brook-Krasny *             (Brooklyn)
Barbara Clark                        (Queens)
William Colton                       (Brooklyn)
Vivian Cook                           (Queens)
Jeffrey Dinowitz *                  (Bronx)
Rafael Espinal *                    (Brooklyn)
Deborah Glick                       (Manhattan)
Phillip Goldfeder                   (Queens)
Carl Heastie                          (Bronx)
Andrew Hevesi                      (Queens)
Dov Hikind                             (Brooklyn)
Rhoda Jacobs                       (Brooklyn) has now taken name off and committed to vote NO
Joseph Lentol *                     (Brooklyn)
Margaret Markey                   (Queens)
Michael Miller                        (Queens)
Joan Millman *                       (Brooklyn)
Walter Mosley                        (Brooklyn)
Catherine Nolan                    (Queens)
Daniel O’Donnell                   (Manhattan) took his name off - but hasn't sent letter to Silver
Félix Ortiz                               (Brooklyn)
Nick Perry                              (Brooklyn)
Gary Pretlow                          (Westchester)
Annette Robinson                 (Brooklyn)
Nily Rozic                               (Queens)
Luis Sepulveda                     (Bronx)
Aravella Simotas                   (Queens)
Michele Titus                          (Queens)
Helene Weinstein                  (Brooklyn)

* Assembly Member signed, or promised to sign, letter being circulated by Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal (Dem. Manhattan) in opposition to this very bill.

It appears Speaker Shelly Silver intends to ram this bill through, as he tried and failed to do last June, on the last night of the 2012 session. He has ignored pleas from tenants and from some of his own members not to proceed with this bill. He has been asked to pass a free standing bill to renew the coop/condo real property tax discount, thus de-coupling it from J-51 renewal, but he has apparently decided not to do so. (No doubt many of the above Assembly members put their names on this bill because they are under pressure from angry shareholders and condo owners in their districts, demanding renewal of their tax discount.)

(1) If your Assembly Member is listed as a sponsor, co-sponsor, or multi-sponsor, call - and get others to call -  to tell them you want them to take their name off the bill, and to communicate to the Speaker that he should not pass this bill. If they signed Linda Rosenthal’s sign-on letter, why are they sponsoring this bill?  

(2) If your Assembly Member is not listed as a sponsor above, call and thank him or her for not sponsoring the bill, but say you want them to do whatever it takes to convince Speaker Silver to withdraw this bill. Ask them to sign Linda Rosenthal’s sign-on letter.

(3) EVERYONE should call new Housing Committee chair Keith Wright and tell him this is a terrible start to his new assignment. His district office number is: (212) 866-5809. Ask him not to pass this bill.  And since the bill is now in the Assembly's Ways and Means Committee, call A.M. Herman "Denny" Farrell at 518-455-5491. 

The Assembly may vote on the bill THIS WEEK.