By Vince Tabone, President- Northeast Queens Community Action Center, Inc. (www.neqcan.org)
Recently, I stood with members of the construction and trade unions in the shadow of Ground Zero and called upon the Port Authority, State, City and Larry Silverstein to stop stalling and start building. We sorely need the construction jobs and the permanent jobs that will follow.
To many in the trade and construction unions, the stagnation in construction has created a real hardship. With a jobless economic recovery, what can we do on a state and local level to get the shovels and backhoes moving again, the steel, brick and mortar laid?
One thing the State legislature can do is reinstate 421-a negotiable certificates that give 10-year tax abatements to owners and developers of residential apartments, basing the tax deduction on the full assessed value of the property — as the state law was originally written, as opposed to the narrower limit that was imposed three years ago.
The 2007 state law capping the amount that could be deducted at an assessed valuation of $65,000 could not have come at a worse time. Certificates thereafter sold for prices about half of the certificates that were not capped.
A roll back to the previous law could help spur development in stalled projects. To counter concerns that market rate development might come at the expense of affordable housing an enriched LIHTC tax credit could be offered with a strike price set to put these developments on an even footing.
One idea that should be scrapped immediately is the Governor’s proposed taxing of Industrial Development Agencies. The whole purpose of IDA’s is to incentivize development through bonding authority at desirable rates and waiving certain taxes that add to development costs.
Albany must quickly take common sense market based steps to create the conditions for job creation, economic revitalization and opportunity to make New York the Empire State once again.
Note: Vince Tabone is a Canddiate for State Assembly for an open assembly seat. Vince is a former member of DC 37 and has been endorsed by Senator Frank Padavan, Councilmember Dan Halloran, Council Member Peter Koo, the Correction Captains Association and the United Council for Veterans Rights. The 26th Assembly District encompasses the Queens neighborhoods of Whitestone, Bay Terrace, Bayside, Auburndale, Douglaston, Little Neck, Floral Park, Glen Oaks, Flushing and Malba. Vince Tabone was Vice President of Economic Development at the NYC Economic Development Corporation helping creating thousand of construction and permanent jobs and direct millions in private investment into the local economy. Preceding this Vince served at HPD helping finance affordable and senior housing. In the private sector Vince Tabone continues to work to spur commercial, residential and business development and expansion thoroughout the city.