Commercial Rent Regulation Push Fails as Jackson Pulls Motion

A push to force a vote on a set of new commercial rent regulations has failed, at least for now. El Diario reported Monday that Councilman Robert Jackson is pulling his motion to discharge, a rare action that would force a vote on his commercial rent bill, the Small Business Survival Act.

The bill would have established an arbitration process for all small businesses renewing their leases, letting an arbitrator determine the rent and lease terms when the landlord and tenant cannot agree. The real estate industry and Council Speaker Christine Quinn were opposed to the bill, as was the Bloomberg administration.

While Mr. Jackson had the official support of 30 of 51 Council members, the motion to discharge is considered an aggressive action against the Council leadership, likely making it a difficult job to sign up enough members to ensure its passage. The motion was filed last week.

In response to the motion, Ms. Quinn last week outlined a set of initiatives aimed at small retail, including a number of new incentives meant to ease small business tax burden and encourage lease renewal.

Mr. Jackson’s push came as the Council term was ending at the end of the year, and all legislation expires. A new Council, considered to be more liberal, comes in at the start of next year.

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