What's the real value of New York's real estate industry?

We often take for granted how important real estate is to New York City’s success. New York City’s income-producing properties provide the largest portion of locally generated taxes to the City’s budget and create tens of thousands of good paying jobs.

Property taxes from income-producing (real estate and other real estate related taxes on Class 3, 4 and the rental properties in Class 2) represent 34 percent of the total taxes collected or $14.525 billion, according to a recent Real Estate Board of New York analysis of City’s tax revenues for fiscal year 2014. Total taxes from income-producing real property are greater than sales and personal income taxes combined.   

In addition to contributing the largest portion of locally generated taxes to the City’s budget, income-producing properties represent a sizable amount of mid-wage professions throughout the State. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics reveals that the real estate industry, not including construction, averaged approximately 155,000 jobs in 2012, with an annual wage per employee of over $60,000. In New York City alone, the real estate industry employs about 65,000 members of 32BJ SEIU, the largest property service workers union in the Country. 32BJ’s standard annual wages and benefits based on their most recent contracts are approximately $67,500 in commercial buildings and $64,000 in apartment buildings, according to the Realty Advisory Board on Labor Relations.  

As the City continues to struggle with high unemployment rates relative to the rest of the State and Country, it is important that the City employs policies that encourage and sustain job growth. Income-producing real property is a vital component in the City’s economy as an essential source of tax revenue for the City budget and good paying jobs. Given this critical role, we need to focus on expanding the real estate industry with public policy proposals that enhance the growth while continuing to fund City’s basic services, such as fire, police, sanitation, and schools.

In other REBNY News:

The Commercial Brokerage Division Seminar Committee presents “Is West the Best?” A Seminar on the Development of the Far West Side from 8-10 am on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 in the Mendik Education Center at REBNY, 570 Lexington Ave. Join us for a panel discussion about the attractiveness of the planned large scale re-development on the Far West Side of Manhattan. Ann Weisbrod, President of the Hudson Yards Development Corporation, will lead the discussion and inform attendees about what exactly is taking place there and what are some of the most important benefits and features that are drawing developers, investors, tenants and ultimately home owners, renters, shoppers and tourists to the area. She will be joined by panelists Todd Kahn, General Counsel SVP at Coach; Dean J. Shapiro, Managing Director of Oxford Properties; and Philip Wharton, SVP of Development at Brookfield Properties Corp. REBNY members are $10 and non-members are $15. Register online at www.REBNY.com. For more information, email djones@rebny.com

The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) requested we remind REBNY members that the NYCHA has issued a Request For Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for 14 development sites on 8 NYCHA developments in Manhattan, south of 110th Street, and that proposals are due by November 18, 2013. All of the sites are as-of-right with regard to the residential development that is contemplated. Several would require a ULURP only for a commercial overlay to permit stores on the ground floor. RFEI also wanted to remind our members that while they explicitly reserve the right to hold a subsequent round of submissions, participation may be restricted to first round submitters. Moreover, NYCHA may designate a developer based on its RFEI submission and forgo another round. You may download needed documents by going to www.nyc.gov/nycha and clicking on “Preserving Public Housing.” Then click on “Land Lease Opportunity” and then “RFEI” for the documents. For more information, contact REBNY’s Michael Slattery at mslattery@rebny.com.