NAIOP Upstate would like to alert members to our current advocacy efforts around the 485-A tax benefits program, so critical to local development efforts. The New York State Assembly and Senate have passed legislation to curtail its application by limiting qualifying uses, increasing oversight and clawback provisions. The legislation is due to be forwarded to Governor Cuomo for signature and would be enacted beginning January 1, 2021.
Transformation of older single-use commercial and industrial sites into mixed-use projects involves significantly more work and costs more than the typical redevelopment of sites for commercial or industrial uses, because of the residential build component. Transforming contaminated sites that include a residential component require remediation of the property and structures to more stringent standards, which also substantially increases costs. The program and abatement assist with overcoming a portion of these additional costs and affords developers the time to get the property fully operational and stabilized after it is completed. 485-a is available to any party undertaking a mixed-use project across New York State in the communities that have adopted the program. It is one of many tools the City of Buffalo has made available which has had its desired effect toward with the redevelopment of numerous of properties in many different neighborhoods, improving the appearance of the city, increasing the tax base, creating thousands of jobs and improved civic pride.
The narrative that the 485-a program is taking dollards from tax-payer dollars is false. In fact it is one of the superior tools that lead to future increases of tax revenue.
We are stating loud and clear that during the present COVID-19 health pandemic and corresponding economic crisis that has especially damaged the real estate market, now is not the time to create a more restrictive and costly development environment. Please join us in asking Governor Cuomo to veto this legislation and support our industry’s efforts to revitalize our local communities. For more information or to get involved in our advocacy committee, contact Dan Leonard at [email protected]