Governor Vows to Veto 421-a Bill with No Union Labor Provisions
In a recent speech during the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York Winter Conference, Governor Cuomo vowed to veto any 421-a legislation that doesn’t include protections for union labor. The governor said that the exclusion of a prevailing wage provision is “the camel’s nose under the tent” that may lead to weaker labor unions across the country.
Last November, the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) and the Building Trades reached a deal to revive the lapsed 421-a program. The agreement, which came 10 months after the tax abatement expired, would require buildings in Manhattan to pay an average hourly wage of $60 for construction workers. Construction projects in Brooklyn and Queens, meanwhile, would be required to pay $45 per hour.
Cuomo, who warned that labor unions across the country are under attack, said that the “fight” for the 421-a program is not just about a tax break for residential developers, it is also a struggle over New York principles. Cuomo advanced the replacement plan in January. As part of the initiative, the tax break has been renamed as “Affordable New York.” The proposal is now with the State Legislature.