Wealthy donors associated with the New York real estate industry continue to invest their money. Governor Andrew Cuomo elected on alert with three terms, campaign reports show.
Over the past six months, developers, landlords, construction lenders and other industry partners have poured nearly $ 500,000 into Cuomo’s re-elected treasury.
That’s over 20 percent of the $ 2.3 million raised by Cuomo in the first half of 2021.
Many donations came just before the campaign fundraising deadline.
Housing activists criticized the donation, noting that an important state law that provides generosity to luxury developer projects expires on June 15 next year. tax credits to charge non-market or “affordable” rents of up to 30 percent of their new apartments.
The program is supported by the New York City Real Estate Board, which donated $ 5,000 to Cuomo from its Political Action Committee.
“This is a classic pay-to-play game. There is no doubt about that, ”said Michael McKee of Tenants PAC, a repeal advocate accused of political donations to Cuomo.
“We’re going to spearhead a major campaign to repeal this law. It is completely indecent that we subsidize millionaires and billionaires with property tax benefits. There is an abundance of luxury housing here. “
The so-called 421-A tax credit was renewed in 2015 and 2017 when Republicans controlled the state Senate. Democrats now control both houses of the Legislature and are arguably less inclined to provide more than $ 1 billion a year in tax breaks for developers’ housing estates in exchange for discounts on affordable housing.
Forty real estate donors have contributed $ 465,000 to Cuomo’s re-election, campaign figures show.
Donors include billionaire Richard LeFrac, the metro owner who donated $ 33,000 to Cuomo’s coffers earlier this year.
Executives associated with related companies donated $ 65,000, including $ 25,000 from billionaire developer and CEO Stephen Ross. The firm built Hudson Yards in Manhattan, which has residential properties that have property tax benefits.
Gary Barnett, CEO of Extell Company, also contributed $ 19,700.
The Extell One57 skyscraper condominium on 57th Street in Midtown was eligible for the 421-A tax credit program before the program was updated. Other Extell properties that have received tax credits include One Manhattan Square on the Lower East Side and One Riverside Park on the Upper West Side.
RXR Realty executives donated $ 50,000 and Two Trees Management employees $ 25,000.
RXR Realty boss Scott Rehler donated space in his Rockefeller Plaza building to Cuomo June 30 fundraiserwhere the minimum asking price was $ 10,000 per person and $ 15,000 per couple.
Two Trees develops, owns and operates downtown and Brooklyn Brownstone condos, including in the DUMBO and Williamsburg neighborhoods, with certain properties receiving tax credits. The firm converts Domino Sugar plant on the embankment.
Kylie Cappelli, actress-wife of developer Louis Cappelli, invested 50 thousand dollars.
Adam and Ivan Kaufman of Arbor Realty donated $ 25,000 to Cuomo’s campaign coffers.
Suzanne Durst, wife Durst Organization Head Douglas Durst donated $ 10,000.
Durst is eligible for tax relief for Hallet’s point waterfront residential complex in Astoria, Queens.
Republican billionaire tycoon John Katsimatidis, whose $ 2 billion real estate portfolio has received tax breaks and includes new apartments on the waterfront in Brooklyn, Coney Island, gave $ 25,000 to Cuomo, as well as $ 10,000 to Republican governor candidate Lee Zeldin.
Katsimatidis said he is loyal to Cuomo, whom he has known for decades along with his late father, former governor Mario Cuomo.
“The Andrew Cuomo family and the Katsimatidis family have been friends for a long time,” he said. “The Cuomo family has had common sense for a long time.”
Katsimatidis, who holds a leadership position in the Greek Orthodox Church of North America, said Cuomo helped get the job started. reconstruction St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Lower Manhattan last year. The structure was destroyed during the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Meanwhile, Katsimtatidis said what’s happening with the 421-A tax credit program is a litmus test that could determine whether he will continue to invest in New York or elsewhere. He said New York cannot afford to oppose development.
“If you don’t have sane Democrats, billions of dollars will flow elsewhere and jobs will come with them,” he said.
The head of the New York City Real Estate Board also continues to appreciate Cuomo’s leadership as the governor struggles to investigate his case. treatment nursing homes in the state during the pandemic, and sexual harassment accusations from current and former employees. Cuomo has denied wrongdoing on both fronts.
“As New York continues on its path to economic recovery, competent and experienced government leadership will play a key role in moving the state forward at this critical time,” REBNY President James Whelan said in a statement.
Last week, The Post reported that employees associated with the firm, which received $ 62 million in government contracts for the COVID-19 emergency – Somos Health Healthcare Providers – Delivered $ 230,000 in donations to kitten Cuomo, who was re-elected to a second term.
Cuomo’s team has rebuffed criticism that the governor was influenced by real estate donations and has defended its reputation for affordable housing.
“Give me a break – I would set this governor’s record for defending tenant rights, promoting and building affordable housing against anyone, anytime, any day,” said Cuomo’s spokesman Richard Azzopardi.
“The freaks in the advocacy industrial complex can say whatever they want, but they cannot change the facts.”
Cuomo aims to run and win a fourth term in 2022. His father, Mario Cuomo, lost to Republican George Pataky when he ran for a fourth term in 1994.