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REBNY 2011 Annual Report
January 6, 2012
The Real Estate Board of New York was successful in achieving many of the goals established in its 2011 agenda, in spite of increasing government dysfunction on the federal level and continued fiscal challenges for the State and City. Meanwhile, we continued to provide a high level of member educational opportunities and events.
This year was marked by increased tension in Washington, with the opposing forces of the conservative Tea Party and the liberal Occupy Wall Street protestors exerting their influence on our elected officials, and compromises seemed more difficult to reach than ever. In July, we witnessed a standoff over raising the federal debt ceiling. In November, the Congressional Super Committee announced its failure to reach a deal in putting the American budgetary system on steady footing. However, on the state level, Governor Cuomo successfully worked with our Albany lawmakers to pass an on-time budget without an increase in spending from last year and without any gimmicks. The City continues to face fiscal challenges, and recently conducted its 12th round of budget cuts.
In NYC, we continue to work with the city to facilitate construction activity through our involvement with the Department of Building’s HUB program that expedites permit approvals and with the Department of City Planning’s BluePRint initiative that will reduce the time required to complete the pre-ULURP process.
In Albany, we promoted capital investment with the renewal of the 421a tax exemption program and the Industrial and Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP) and the extension of the transfer tax reduction for the conveyance of property to a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). We encouraged housing preservation by retaining the luxury and vacancy decontrol provisions in the rent regulation renewal.
We maintained our strong presence in Washington with the passage in the House of the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) and with the lack of action on Carried Interest legislation.
With the announced cancellation of the Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) project which was intended to be a second tunnel for commuter rail into Penn Station from New Jersey, REBNY has advocated a proposal to extend the 7 line from 34th Street to New Jersey as a replacement. This alternative project costs significantly less than ARC and would include the second subway station at 41st and 10th, which REBNY has advocated as essential for Hudson Yards.
In achieving our goals, we have faced adversity and unexpected challenges. However, as the following detailed list of our activities in 2011 demonstrates, we had a busy and successful year.