New York City Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) is sponsoring legislation intended to help middle-class co-op and condo owners comply with Local Law 97, which—starting in 2024—sets carbon emissions caps on buildings over 25,000 square feet. Assemblyman Braunstein’s legislation, A.5050, would require the City to provide property tax breaks to help building owners offset the cost of compliance.
Specifically, A.5050 seeks to provide buildings working to comply with Local Law 97 with “two-fold relief”: “tax abatements in accordance to the total reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and a tax exemption equal to any assessed value increase due to the eligible improvement for a period of twenty years.”
A.5050 has the backing of many who support Local Law 97’s objective—reducing by 40% the greenhouse gasses emitted by New York City buildings by 2030—but believe working-class co-op and condo owners need help financing the changes Local Law 97 requires. Parties who take that position include the group of co-op/condo advocates known as Homeowners for a Stronger New York, which is launching an advertising campaign promoting New York City housing that is affordable as well as sustainable.
Known formally as the Climate Mobilization Emissions Law of 2019, Local Law 97 applies to existing buildings, which account for two-thirds of the City’s carbon emissions. It will affect approximately 40,000 New York City buildings.
To avoid fines, which will vary depending on the extent to which a covered building’s emissions exceed the limits prescribed by Local Law 97, owners of the buildings within the purview of the law may have to install costly upgrades. A recent study by the Real Estate Board of New York showed that as soon as next year, more than 3,700 properties could be out of compliance and face over $200 million per year in penalties. More than 60% of the buildings out of compliance in 2024 are expected to be residential.
Connell Foley continues to monitor the bill and will provide updates as it progresses through the Committee on Real Property Taxation.