Silver Wants Three More Years

Downtown Favorite

Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver called for extending many of the tax credits included in last year’s so-called Marshall Plan for Lower Manhattan for three more years in a speech today before the Association for a Better New York–even though most of the provisions already carry through to 2009 or longer.

“There should be a singularity of focus, and that focus should be on rebuilding Lower Manhattan first and foremost,” he said.

This is sort of reminiscent of President Bush insisting that the Patriot Act be extended two years before it expired in his 2004 State of the Union speech, but then again, Bush eventually got his way.

The Marshall Plan will cost more than $300 million in foregone revenues and outright rent subsidies, according to Good Jobs New York. More than that though, property owners in Long Island City and downtown Brooklyn believe the Marshall Plan lures away budget-conscious companies who otherwise would rent in their districts. In fact, Silver went so far as to say that downtown should gain “parity” with the outer boroughs when it comes to REAP–the city’s corporate retention program that gives $3,000-an-employee tax credit to companies that move from Midtown to Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx or Staten Island.

Silver Wants Three More Years