REBNY’s John Banks Says Albany Shot Down Deal With Unions on 421a


John Banks, the president of the Real Estate Board of New York, said that his industry group did actually reach a deal with organized labor last year to save the 421a tax credit for developers—but that lawmakers in Albany refused to swallow it.

The REBNY head told the crowd at a Crain’s New York Business panel discussion at the Times Square Sheraton yesterday that he and one of the men onstage with him, Building Trades Council President Gary LaBarbera, had come to a consensus on installing new wage floors into the tax break. Last June, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature left REBNY and the Building Trades to forge an understanding on writing prevailing wages into the abatement within six months, or allow it to lapse.

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The credit, which offered crucial relief from increased tax assessments on new construction expired in January—but not because the two parties couldn’t agree, Mr. Banks said yesterday.

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