19 20 City Council Members Push for More 421-a Reform; Quinn Takes Notice

Quinn may call the final 421-a shot.

Annabel Palma and 18 other City Council members put forth their version of 421-a property tax reform at a press conference on Wednesday morning, as promised. Basically, it’s similar to what state Assemblyman (and Brooklyn Democratic chairman) Vito Lopez has pushed for, expanding the so-called exclusion zone to encompass the whole city.

In other words, if you hope to get tax breaks anywhere in the city for residential development, you must devote some portion — 30 percent, in fact — to low- or moderate-income housing.

That’s a lot harder on developers than is Mayor Bloomberg’s version, which would maintain tax breaks for new apartments (up to the first $1 million of value) in most of the boroughs and in Upper Manhattan.

The point this morning was a show of force, of course, and 19 council members should be enough to make the Real Estate Board of New York worry–and to make Speaker Christine Quinn, who will essentially decide the issue, to take notice.

Quinn, who began meeting with the Mayor’s staff on 421-a this week, according to a source, hasn’t chosen sides, but she was meeting with members of Palma’s bloc all morning, even throughout the press conference.

“I think the conversation is going towards a much more aggressive set of reforms,” the source said.

Matthew Schuerman

Update: A 20th council member, Darlene Mealy, a Brooklyn Democrat, signed on this afternoon.

19 20 City Council Members Push for More 421-a Reform; Quinn Takes Notice