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Photo via Maria Torres-Springers Twitter page

City yanks 421a benefit from 1,700 property owners

More than 1,700 property owners who have not complied with the requirements of the 421a program have had the benefit yanked as part of a crackdown on rule-breakers.

Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer and Department of Finance (DOF) Commissioner Jacques Jiha announced the suspension of the 421-a benefits as part of a wider effort to ensure that properties that receive tax benefits comply with the rules.

“Owners receiving valuable tax benefits need to live up to their end of the deal. While the vast majority of building owners follow the law, those who do not will lose their benefits unless they fulfill all of their obligations,” said Torres-Springer.

“We will continue to collaborate with our partner City and State agencies to make sure those who try to take advantage of the system will be held accountable.”

This first part of the compliance project targeted projects that had received 421-a benefits for at least five years but have not yet filed a required Final Certificate of Eligibility (FCE) with DOF.

DOF sent letters notifying owners of 5,268 multi-family tax lots that their 421-a tax benefits will be suspended if they don’t comply with the requirements of the 421-a program. The letters gave owners notice that the tax exemption will be suspended unless they submit their FCE within a 13-month deadline.

On January 31, 2018, DOF notified the 1,788 properties that did not meet the deadline that their 421-a tax exemption had been suspended. These buildings range from small, three-family homes to large multifamily properties. City officials also informed City Councilmembers which properties in their districts have been suspended and how they can help bring them back into compliance.

The City will reinstate owners’ benefits – representing $66 million in tax revenue for 2018 – if they come back into compliance by May 1, 2018.

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