Success: Coop/Condo Tax Abatement Extended 2 Years

We are pleased to announce that the coop/condo property tax abatement has been extended for two years.
Last weekend we reported that the city – with only three days left in the legislative session – had still not introduced legislation in Albany to extend the abatement.  We asked you to write your local state electeds and enjoin them to do something fast.
On Monday, our state senator, Brian Kavanagh, sponsored legislation to extend the abatement for two years, co-sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman. It passed Wednesday and the governor is expected to sign it.
Apparently there is a move afoot to fund NYCHA housing repairs by eliminating property tax exemptions for coops and condos.  One bill introduced in the state assembly this winter called for drastic, across the board, cuts in the abatements.  However, it was so broad-based and extreme that de Blasio and other legislators opposed it.
The coop/condo tax abatements were originally established to bring equity in the property tax system, with the logic that if owners of 1- to 3-family homes were getting abatements, so justly should condo/coop homeowners.
Incidentally, the STAR tax exemption and the property tax exemption for seniors remains untouched.
The mayor has set up a commission to recommend reforms in the property tax system. So we expect this issue to rear its head again. We shall keep you informed.  

*****************Another bill that concerned us was a proposal to set time limits for a coop to decide on a new buyer’s application, and to put the reasons in writing for rejecting an applicant. The bill was laid aside until next year.  
By the way, we got much of this information from an excellent new, independent, non-profit news outlet THE CITY.  You can read it here.
*****************Finally, this news article relates the tale of an unethical developer who has submitted spurious data (as well as union-busting) to get a Special Permit from the city for 11,066 sq. ft. of retail on the ground and basement of a new office building on Lafayette Street.  
The SoHo Alliance spoke out against this application at a recent community board meeting. We have enough retail as it is, but we definitely cannot countenance awarding a permit to someone who abuses the process.

Sincerely, 

Sean SweeneyDirector

SoHo AlliancePO Box 429New York, NY 10012212-353-8466info@sohoalliance.orgsohoalliance.org

Troubling New Zoning Development

We need you to comment on a sudden troubling development in the zoning initiative for SoHo/NoHo.  Today, Thursday, June 20, is the deadline for public comment.  So comment here now.
At yesterday’s Advisory Group final meeting, it became clear that the city and the facilitator are following the demands of the SoHo Broadway BID and the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and will recommend a change to our zoning that will permit retail uses on the second floor (and possibly upper floors) along Broadway.  Current zoning only allows retail on the ground floor and basement.  
The resident groups on the Advisory Group realize this as an attempt to allow mega-retail on Broadway.  Since the current retail limit is 10,000 sq. ft. per floor, that means 30,000 sq. ft. department stores, with 10,000 sq. ft. each on the basement, ground and second floors.
The commercial interests on the Advisory Group say this only affects Broadway.  But doubling retail usage from the ground to the second floor means double the number of shoppers than we have now, double the congestion on our sidewalks, double the amount of vehicular traffic, more crowded subway platforms, and much more trash left behind by shoppers.
Despite what the commercial interests claim, this doubling of retail use will affect ALL of SoHo/NoHo, since these shoppers are not confined to Broadway.  The spillover will affect all of us.
Preserve your quality-of-life.  Click here and write a brief comment that we do not want retail on the upper floors: don’t turn our community further into a shopping mall.  
Do it now as today is the final day for comment before a report is released later this summer.
Sincerely,

Sean SweeneyDirector

SoHo Alliance PO Box 429 New York, NY 10012 212-353-8466

info@sohoalliance.orgsohoalliance.org

Coop/Condo Tax Abatement at Risk – Hostile Proposal Advances

Your action is needed = End of Albany session draws near Please Contact Your Assembly & Senate Representatives NOW on these Issues 
Forward this to friends and neighbors.
– LOOMING INCREASE TO PROPERTY TAXES: DeBLASIO ADMINISTRATION HAS NOT INTRODUCED LEGISLATION TO EXTEND COOP/CONDO ABATEMENTS 

With less than four days left in the state legislative session, the City has still not introduced legislation to extend the tax abatement program for qualifying home owners in New York City cooperatives and condominiums.  The abatement is to provide condo/coop owners the same tax break that owners of single-family homes receive.
The legislative session is scheduled to conclude on June 19.  The loss of this program will result in steep increases this year, ranging from 17.5% for higher-end buildings to 28.3% for those least able to afford such a tax increase.  A four year extender of the present abatement program is urgently needed.   
Please ask your Albany lawmakers to support A FOUR YEAR EXTENDER OF THE CURRENT COOP/CONDO ABATEMENT PROGRAM and to push for its immediate enactment. 
Senator Michael Gianaris, Deputy Majority Leader; gianaris@nysenate.govSenator Brian Kavanagh: kavanagh@nysenate.govSenator Brad Hoylman: hoylman@nysenate.govAssemblymember Deborah Glick: glickd@assembly.state.ny.usAssemblymember Yuh-line Niou: niouy@nyassembly.gov
****************************************************************************LEGISLATION SEEKS TO IMPOSE MANDATORY TIME FRAMES AND WRITTEN REASONS IN THE CO-OP ADMISSIONS PROCESS 
A bill introduced by SoHo’s state senator, Brian Kavanagh, would impose a one-size-fits-all time frame on admissions in housing cooperatives and would require that reasons be provided in writing when applicants are rejected.   
It is astonishing that the senator did this without first discussing this issue with any coops/condo boards here in SoHo.  After all, condos and coops are the prime housing stock in our community.
Decades of case history enforce the rights of cooperatives to decide upon prospective purchasers and ample recourse already exists to protect purchasers against discrimination. 
We know of no other business entity in the nation that is required to give written reasons for rejecting a prospective business partner– and a set time frame in which to do it.
This legislation is cumbersome, unnecessary and, if enacted, will discourage volunteers from board service.  
Please ask your Albany lawmakers TO STRONGLY OPPOSE THIS ADMISSIONS LEGISLATION.  Be sure to insert A.1267-A (Perry)/S.6408 /(Kavanagh) in the subject line to help identify the bill.
Specifically request Senator Kavanagh to reconsider this ill-advised bill and speak to his constituents first.
Senator Brian Kavanagh: kavanagh@nysenate.govSenator Brad Hoylman: hoylman@nysenate.govAssemblymember Deborah Glick: glickd@assembly.state.ny.usAssemblymember Yuh-line Niou: niouy@nyassembly.gov

Sincerely,

Sean SweeneyDirector

SoHo AlliancePO Box 429New York, NY 10012212-353-8466info@sohoalliance.orgsohoalliance.org

SoHo News Update

On Thursday the City presented preliminary recommendations for changes to SoHo/NoHo land use and zoning.  About two hundred people attended the presentation at the Scholastic Building, with residents and artist-residents predominating.  
Download the presentation here.  We want YOUR FEEDBACK on it.
The Judd Foundation has offered use of its museum space on Monday afternoon June 17 … this is for local folks to drop in, ask us questions, make suggestions, express concerns, and submit feedback and input.  It will be an informal gathering – no presentations.  This meeting at the Judd is for YOU to submit your feedback and thoughts. 
This allows us, as your neighborhood representatives on the SoHo/NoHo Advisory Group, to collect a record of your input and then deliver your thoughts to the project facilitator and its sponsors, Borough President Gale Brewer, Councilmember Margaret Chin and City Planning Director Marisa Lago.  
Where: Judd Foundation, 101 Spring (entry at 108 Mercer)
When: Monday June 17,  2:00 – 5:00
If you absolutely cannot make the Drop-In meeting on June 17, you can send comments to City Planning until June 20 at this link and send a copy to us at info@sohoalliance.org, for our records.
Please forward this email to friends and neighbors.
Sincerely,SoHo AllianceBroadway Residents CoalitionNoHo Neighborhood Association

Rezoning = Prelliminary Recommendations Summary

After five months of pubic meetings and input from diverse stakeholders, the sponsors of a zoning study will finally present their preliminary recommendations to the public this Thursday evening.  
The sponsor will take feedback from this meeting and present a final report later this summer.
Then the report will go to the community board in October where we will have an opportunity to comment on the final report and the board will also provide its own recommendations.  We fully expect this process to result in a significant change to our current zoning.
So please attend this week’s meeting to provide your voice in shaping the final report on our neighborhood’s future.
Where: Scholastic Building Auditorium, 130 Mercer StreetWhen: 6:00 – 8:15, Thursday, June 13
Please forward this to friends and neighbors who may not be on our list.
To learn more or to comment, visit https://www.envisionsohonoho.nyc

Sincerely,

Sean SweeneyDirector

SoHo AlliancePO Box 429New York, NY 10012212-353-8466info@sohoalliance.orgsohoalliance.org