January 2021

Weekly Report for January 29, 2021

NYSAR Meets with State Lawmakers on Fair Housing Legislation
On Friday, NYSAR staff met with Sen. James Skoufis, Chair of the Senate Committee on Investigations and Government Operations, as well as Senate counsel and staff to discuss a package of fair housing-related legislation recently introduced in the state Senate. Nearly a dozen fair housing bills are scheduled for a committee vote next week, warranting our engagement. NYSAR has been in frequent contact with state lawmakers on the issue of fair housing and will look to maintain a productive dialogue to advance policies and laws that root out illegal discrimination in housing. NSYAR will continue to provide updates to members on the status of fair housing proposals.

Attend NYSAR’s Legislative Policy Forum on February 10 featuring Sen. Michelle Hinchey

Mark your calendars to attend NYSAR’s Legislative Policy Forum on February 10 at 9 a.m. during this year’s virtual Mid-Winter Business Meetings. State Senator Michelle Hinchey will be our guest speaker to provide a legislative overview. NYSAR Director of Government Affairs and NAR Field Representative Zack Rubin-McCarry will also provide an update on state and federal legislative and political issues.

Weekly Report for January 22, 2021

Governor Cuomo’s FY 2022 Executive Budget Summary

On Tuesday, January 19, Gov. Andrew Cuomo presented his FY 2022 Executive Budget addressing a $15 billion budget deficit. The governor’s proposal presented two budget scenarios that are heavily dependent on federal aid. The first budget option outlines a “worst-case scenario” where New York receives $6 billion in federal aid, triggering a series of spending cuts and tax increases, including a temporary income tax surcharge on high-income taxpayers through 2023 and a new sales tax on vacation rentals. The second option outlines a budget based on New York receiving $15 billion in requested federal aid, which would fill the state’s budget gap without having to increase taxes on high-income earners, according to the governor’s office. No federal aid has been earmarked for New York at this time, however.

The governor’s budget also proposes changes to STAR by closing the Enhanced STAR program to new applicants, permits electronic notarization, authorizes flexibility in zoning in parts of NYC to incentivize the conversion of commercial buildings into affordable residential housing, and seeks to prohibit sellers of real estate from passing the basic Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT) through to buyers. The State Legislature announced it will hold budget hearings beginning next week, which allow for public input. Both houses of the legislature will then release their respective budget proposals, beginning the process of final budget negotiations with Governor Cuomo. Passage of a final on-time budget is due April 1, 2021.

You can read more details on the governor’s budget proposals here or view the full budget on the Division of Budget website.

Revenue estimates for pied-a-terre tax proposal drop

The Independent Budget Office recently dropped its revenue estimate for a proposed new annual property tax on second homes in New York City valued at over $5 million. The non-government agency said it realized far fewer homes than originally thought would qualify for the new tax if imposed. NYSAR is part of a coalition urging the public and state lawmakers to oppose the new tax proposal. Estimates show that the city would see a net loss of $198 million a year if the tax is imposed due to lost revenue from sales and development. You can learn more and take action here.

Weekly Report for January 15, 2021

Sen. Michelle Hinchey will be Guest Speaker at NYSAR’s Legislative Policy Forum on February 10
State Senator Michelle Hinchey will be a guest speaker at NYSAR’s upcoming Legislative Policy Forum on Wednesday, February 10 at 9 a.m. during this year’s virtual Mid-Winter Business Meetings. Zack Rubin-McCarry, NAR’s field representative for our state will also provide an update on federal legislative and political issues. For more information and to register for NYSAR’s Business Meetings, click here.

Governor Cuomo delivers annual State of the State Address
This week, Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his 11th State of the State address, which was held remotely and divided into four different speeches over the course of four days. During his address, Governor Cuomo laid the groundwork for his 2021 agenda, including a focus on ending the pandemic, addressing the state’s largest deficit in history, and implementing a plan to recover the economy and safely reopen businesses. New York currently faces a $15 billion budget gap, which Governor Cuomo is expected to address in his executive budget proposal due by January19. The governor also announced that he will seek to codify his executive order banning penalties and fees for late or missed rent payments through May 1, 2021 and will extend the state’s moratorium on commercial evictions through May 1, 2021. He will also propose legislation to create a five-year period during which property owners in New York City may convert vacant commercial space to residential use and affordable housing. You can watch the governor’s address and read more here.

NYC Mayor de Blasio presents $92.3 billion city budget
On Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio outlined a $92.3 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year while trying to address a $5.3 billion budget gap. The mayor said city property tax revenues are projected to decline by $2.5 billion next year driven by a loss in property values, primarily from commercial properties. The mayor also announced that incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and President-elect Joe Biden agreed to reimburse New York City for 100 percent of pandemic expenses, which would give the city an extra $1 billion. Read more here.

Property Tax increases capped at 1.23 percent
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced that property tax increases will be capped at 1.23 percent in the coming fiscal year. The tax cap falls under 2 percent for the second consecutive year. Read more here.

Weekly Report for January 8, 2021

NYSAR urges NYS to apply for federal rental assistance funding
The recently signed federal Covid stimulus bill allows states to request significant funding for rental assistance with a deadline of January 12. NYSAR has been in contact with the governor’s office to ensure New York receives necessary funding to provide relief to tenants and property owners.

Gov. Cuomo to hold annual State of the State Jan. 11
Governor Cuomo will hold a virtual State of the State Monday, January 11, where he will outline new proposals and agenda for the upcoming year. Cuomo has argued that negotiating tax increases should wait until after it becomes clear whether additional aid is coming from the federal government. Gov. Cuomo will also release his executive budget proposal in the coming days or weeks, which NYSAR will review and report on. Read more here.

U.S. Senator Schumer likely to become next Majority Leader
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will likely be the next Senate Majority Leader if Democrat Jon Ossoff maintains his lead over Republican incumbent Sen. David Perdue in the Georgia Senate run-off. Democrat Raphael Warnock has already been declared the winner over Sen. Kelly Loeffler in the other Georgia run-off. Democrats would hold a 50-50 member tie with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tie-breaking vote. Read more here.

Weekly Report for January 1, 2021

Governor signs law banning most evictions and foreclosures until May 1, 2021
On January 28, the State Legislature passed a statewide eviction ban for tenants facing hardships due to Covid-19 until at least May 1, 2021, which Governor Cuomo signed into law (Chapter No. 381). The new law expands and strengthens the existing moratorium on evictions put into place through executive order by the governor, which was set to expire January 1. The law also places a moratorium on foreclosures and tax lien sales until May 1, 2021 for homeowners and multi-unit property owners with 10 or fewer units where the owner has a primary residence in one of the units. Read more here. Additionally, NYSAR has provided a summary of the new law, found here, which is for informational purposes only and is not meant as legal guidance or advice.

President Trump signs $900 billion stimulus bill; provides $1.3 in rental assistance for New Yorkers
On Sunday, President Trump signed the $900 billion federal funding and stimulus bill. The bill extends the CDC’s federal eviction moratorium for another month, provides $25 billion for rental assistance ($1.3 billion is set for New York), expands and extends unemployment benefits, and provides $600 direct payments to many Americans. Read more here.