The Mayor submitted his fiscal 2017 Executive Budget proposal, Tuesday, anticipating a 5.1 percent increase in property taxes, despite noting that the “commercial real estate market is expected to decline in 2016 from its record year in 2015.”
One-to-three family homeowners will get a one time $183 credit on their water bills under the plan, regardless of need, thanks to the Mayor deciding not to collect a ‘rental payment’ from the Water Board budget that was historically paid to the City general fund…essentially a hidden tax in the water rate. The Mayor is offering a similar $250 per unit credit to apartment owners, but, unfortunately, it can only be collected if the owner signs a fifteen year agreement to keep the apartments affordable. The Mayor could have just let the benefit of the reduced rental payment flow across the board to all water ratepayers, but chose not to.
Late last week, the Mayor updated his OneNewYork environmental plan with new proposals for offices and apartment buildings. He would extend benchmarking to buildings over 25,000 square feet (from the current 50,000) and create new maintenance requirements for steam systems. Changes to the Energy Code would also be implemented. Industry groups have already questioned the affordability of the requirements.
A pro bono consultant to the Bar Association Legal Services Committee issued a report yesterday saying that the Independent Budget Office study last year finding that increased legal services funding for tenants was not a cost effective way to reduce the expense of homeless services is wrong. The consultants estimated that the City could save $259 million on building affordable housing because stopping evictions would “preserve” 3,414 units of affordable stabilized units. The consultants apparently didn’t know that rent is required to preserve housing.
ABO members have until May 20th to submit rebate forms for their January thru March purchases of eligible products from Delta, Lutron, Carrier, Boise Cascade and dozens of other manufacturers.