Mayor Eric Adams said he’d consider property tax breaks for middle-class co-op and condo owners who have to pay for pricey building upgrades when a new “green” mandate icks in.
Hizzoner said he was open to tax abatements as anxious residents brace for the costs of Local Law 97, which covers 800,000 co-op and condo apartments.
“My second apartment was a co-op,” Adams said during testimoney in Albany on the state budget last week.
“I know what it is to have working class people live in a co-op,” he said. “That is where their value is. That’s where a large amount of their assets [are].”
The comments came in response to a question from state Assemblyman Edward Braunstein.
“We’ve suggested the city work with us on a tax abatement, property tax abatement, to help some of these buildings comply with Local Law 97,” Braunstein said. “A lot of them are looking now to just figure how they’re going to pay the penalty. They’re not even thinking about how they’re going to comply.
“Would your administration be willing to work with us to try to find a way to offer a property tax abatement to incentivize some of these co-ops to comply with the new energy mandates?”
Adams noted he would.
“We would love to sit down with you and figure out how we can be helpful as possible,” Adams said. “And we’ve taken some major steps to try to minimize the pain to those co-ops and property owners. But I agree with you 100 percent.”
Local Law 97 — the Climate Mobilization Emissions Law of 2019 — sets limits on the greenhouse gas emissions of buildings starting this year as New York City strains to reach a goal to reduce carbon emissions 40% by the year 2030 and 80% citywide by calendar year 2050.
The mandate requires buildings with more than 25,000 square feet to replace their old heating oil and natural gas boilers and switch to electric heat so as to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
The city law covers existing buildings, which account for two-thirds or most of the carbon emissions in the city. Most of the 50,000 buildings are already in compliance.
Braunstein and state Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn) are pushing the GREEN Buildings Act in Albany that would require the city provide tax abatements to co-op owners for up to 10 years to help alleviate the costs.
Homeowners for a Stronger New York, the group representing the co-op dwellers, is sending mailers to constituents in districts of lawmakers with a large number of co-op and condo tenants in a push to back the bill.
“Right now, homeowners, including those of us in Condos and Co-ops, are facing costly retrofits or onerous fines,” said Nancy Clopton-Diaz, treasurer of the board of managers at Orion Condominium in Hell’s Kitchen.
“The GREEN Buildings Act would provide a needed incentive to make these upgrades and support lower greenhouse gas emissionm” Clopton-Diaz added. “It is a smart approach and owners of the Orion Condominium join the many strong supporters of this act. We look forward to working with our colleagues in Albany to get it done this session,”
The co-op/condo advocacy group said residents could face fines totalling $200 million this year and $1 billion in penalties by 2030 for failing to make upgrades.
The Braunstein-Parker bill does not specify how much their bill would cost in abatements to reduce greenhouse emission in older low-rise garden-style garden apartment co-op complexes.
City Hall had no immediate comment beyond the mayor’s testimony last week or whether the city could afford green building tax breaks.
Read More: Mayor Adams eyes NYC property tax breaks as co-ops, condos face crunch from ‘green’ mandate