Monday, June 15 (today) begins the three-day final week of the session for legislators in Albany, and two very huge items on their agenda that are scheduled for a vote are 1. the rent control law that will impact how much landlords can raise rents on tenants, as well as 2. the 421-a tax abatement program that benefits city real estate developers.
The necessary actions for protecting New York City’s residents from being pushed any further to the fringe of existence are:
1. To strengthen New York City’s rent regulation law; and
2. Overhauling the tax abatement program that gives developers generous tax breaks
To allow either one to expire without any notable action would be a huge fail for the state legislators elected to represent NYC’s districts– particularly the legislators in Brooklyn.
But if the past is any indication of what might happen in Albany today, this issue– this issue that weighs so heavily on the livelihood of millions in New York City residents– will be passed around like a hot potato until the law sunsets at deadline.
We call this not actual “work,” in Albany, but instead, “work motions” (feigning like you’re actually working and getting away with it, because no one is actually paying attention).
Last Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio told a congregation at First Corinthian Baptist Church in Harlem that unless appropriate action was taken, New York would become a “gilded city, a city for only those wealthy enough to afford to be here.”
The mayor’s message echoed a sense of urgency. He told the congregation that if state lawmakers do not make the changes the city needs: “I say, end those tax breaks once and for all. If Albany won’t mend it, let’s end it.”