With all the political developments in Albany recently, you may be wondering what became of the effort to enhance the New York State Rehabilitation Tax Credit. It’s been a long and interesting road for this piece of legislation, which passed the NYS Senate in May. Last week a different version of the legislation passed the NYS Assembly – which means it now goes back to the NYS Senate. And as you no doubt know, the Senate has been in a state of turmoil in the past few weeks.
Below is an update from Daniel Mackay at the Preservation League of NYS, who is spearheading efforts to get this legislation passed so that we can finally have a meaningful incentive for historic rehab in our state. The whole piece is interesting, but here is what we need you to do today:
Call the NYS Senate – Senator David Valesky (bill sponsor): 518-455-2838, with the following message: “I support Senate passage of S.6056; please include this legislation on the Senate agenda and pass before the end of session.”
Call Governor Paterson: 518-474-4246, with a request that a message be left for Deputy Secretary Larry Schwartz: “I request the Governor’s support for Senate passage of S.6056 and his subsequent signature on this critically needed rehabilitation stimulus legislation.”
Please make these calls right now, while it’s on your mind – the session ends tomorrow and this legislation has to be on the priority agenda. I just called and it literally takes less than a minute per call – they simply record the fact that you called in support of the legislation, and may ask for your name & address.
Here’s the full update from Daniel:
I wanted to provide an update as to where efforts to secure expanded NYS Rehabilitation Tax Credit programs stands. A flurry of activity in the last week, resulting in a late-session bill introduction in the Assembly, has reset the legislative agenda and process and our advocacy strategy has changed as well. Your calls to the NYS Senate are critical, along with a call to Governor Paterson’s office. See below for call-in information.
New legislation has been introduced in the Assembly (where it passed early Tuesday morning, June 23rd). As this legislation no longer matched the bill passed by the Senate in mid-May, new legislation matching the Assembly bill language was introduced in the Senate Tuesday afternoon. These new bills are A.9023 and S.6056 respectively, and the bill language is attached with this email.
The Senate must pass this new bill before it can go to the Governor for signature. Obviously, leadership issues need to be resolved in the NYS Senate before there will be a vote on this bill, but we are hopeful that this bill will be a priority for passage once leadership issues are resolved (an agreement may be reached in the next 48 hours).
This legislation preserves the 20% credit rate, $5 million dollar commercial project cap, and makes essential changes to the residential (owner occupied) rehabilitation program. If signed into law, these changes would represent significant steps forward for this program in New York. Unfortunately, due to concerns raised by the NYS Department of Tax & Finance, language in the original 2009 bill specifying the ability to transfer and allocate credit value within business partnerships was removed.
We are concerned with the impacts of this change and will be requesting a meeting with the Department of Tax & Finance to discuss and resolve their issues with this critical program component. We will need the involvement of developers, syndicators, and other professionals seeking to use the rehabilitation tax credit program to inform this meeting, and would welcome your involvement.
It is important to note, however, that we will not be able to secure any further changes to the current bill – the NYS Assembly has ended their regular legislative session. A.9023/S.6056 is the only bill in play at this time.
As such, we are pushing for Senate passage and the Governor’s signature of the current bill legislation. Although this bill omits the transferability language, these bills upgrade program components across the board, and establish key features of the New York State Tax Credit programs at desired levels. As such, it represents a significant step forward for the NYS credit programs.
Passage of this bill will also allow us to focus our complete advocacy on one program feature – the need to establish a clear and effective credit transferability mechanism in the NYS commercial rehabilitation program. We will renew our efforts to secure this immediately after we have this bill signed into law.
We know you may be frustrated with this incremental approach to policy development regarding New York’s program. However, we hope you will support Senate passage and the Governor’s signature on this current legislation by advocating to secure these initial changes, and then joining us to address the remaining impediment to a robust and catalytic rehabilitation stimulus program in NYS.
Calls to the NYS Senate – Senator David Valesky (bill sponsor): 518-455-2838, with the following message: “I support Senate passage of S.6056; please include this legislation on the Senate agenda and pass before the end of session.”
Calls to Governor Paterson: 518-474-4246, with a request that a message be left for Deputy Secretary Larry Schwartz: “I request the Governor’s support for Senate passage of S.6056 and his subsequent signature on this critically needed rehabilitation stimulus legislation.”
While the NYS Senate has not yet resolved leadership issues, the Senate faces a June 30th deadline for a number of critical bills (sales tax extenders, among others). As such, it is the hope that our calls, beginning today, secure a place on the priority agenda for S.6056.
Please email me with any questions or concerns (dmackay AT plnys.org). We need your involvement to push this program forward.
Posted by Katie Eggers Comeau, Director of Preservation Services