By Steven Spinola, president,
Real Estate Board of New York
The City Council is expected to pass the Prevailing Wage Bill (Intro. No. 18-A) this week.
The bill would require the payment of those wages/benefits stipulated by the City Comptroller to building service workers in certain buildings where the City leases space or in developments that receive discretionary financial assistance.
Prevailing wage is the amount of salary and benefits determined on an annual basis by the New York City Comptroller. Currently, the amount specified is part of the 32BJ contract.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is expected to veto this bill and the City Council is likely to over-ride his veto.
Legislation imposing wage mandates increases costs on employers and reduces the creation of new jobs, discourages capital investment and lowers tax revenue for the City of New York.
It also lets labor unions off the hook from their traditional role of seeking to organize employees and seeking wage increases through collective bargaining.
With that said, the Speaker and her staff have worked extraordinarily hard to craft legislation that addresses the major concerns of the industry and thereby sharply reduces the chances that it will deter investment and job creation.
Those affected by the Prevailing Wage Bill include guards, building cleaners, porters, janitors, gardeners, elevator operators, window cleaners and others whose majority of employment related to the care and maintenance of buildings and property.
For city leases, prevailing wages must be paid in any building where an agency occupies 10,000 s/f or more of commercial space and the aggregate city leases are at least 51 percent of the total square footage if the building is located within the 421-a exclusion area, or 80 percent of the total square footage in buildings outside that exclusion area or anywhere in Staten Island.
Financial assistance offered is defined as cash payments, grants, bond financing, tax abatements or exemptions, tax increment financing, filing fee waivers, energy cost reductions, environmental remediation costs, a write-down in the market value of a building, land or leases, or the cost of capital improvement in the amount of at least $1 million given to an entity for the purpose of the improvement or development of real property, economic development, job retention or growth or other similar purposes if the project is larger than 100,000 square feet or 100 residential units.
Entities excluded from the Bill are; not-for-profit organizations, manufacturers, small businesses (less than five million dollars in annual gross revenue), business improvement districts, and affordable housing projects and projects that receive as-of-right benefits like Industrial and Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP) and 421-a.
Some projects that receive 421-a are already required to pay prevailing wages.
In other REBNY News:
Entries for the Retail Committee Retail Deal of the Year 2011 Awards are wanted. Deadline to enter is 5 p.m. Tues. April 17, 2012.
New York City transactions completed in 2011 will be considered for three awards. In Manhattan, there will be two awards; one for the most creative retail deal and one for the retail deal which most significantly benefits the Manhattan retail market. The third award will be given for the most important and creative retail deal in the outer boroughs (Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island).
Winners will be announced and receive a scroll at a cocktail party hosted by the Retail Committee on Tues. June 12, 2012.
For more information, email Desiree Jones at email@example.com
Don’t miss the upcoming Commercial Management Leadership Breakfast 7:30-10 am on Thursday, May 31, 2012 at The Hilton New York Grand Ballroom, 1335 Avenue of the Americas. The ninth annual event honors outstanding leaders in the field of commercial property management.
REBNY will present the Edward A. Riguardi Commercial Management Executive of the Year Award; the Portfolio Manager of the Year Award; the On-Site Manager of the Year Award; the John M. Griffin Community Service Award; and for the second year in a row, four new awards; the Engineer of the Year; the Rising Star of the Year; the Security Professional of the Year; and the Porter of the Year.
Sponsorship and ad space in the Journal are still available. Register online at REBNY.com. For more information, contact Cindy Ramotar at firstname.lastname@example.org