Amendment of Rule Regarding Ownership Interest

Adopted Rules: Closed to Comments

Effective Date: 
Monday, March 12, 2018
Agency:
Download Copy of Adopted Rule (.pdf): 

Statement of Basis and Purpose

Subject to certain exceptions, the conflicts of interest provisions of Chapter 68 of the New York City Charter prohibit New York City public servants from having “interests” in firms engaged in business dealings with the City or from taking actions as a public servant particularly affecting the public servant’s interest in a firm. See Charter Sections 2604(a) and 2604(b)(1). Interest is defined in Charter Section 2601(12) as either an ownership interest in a firm or a position with a firm. “Ownership interest” is, in turn, defined in Charter Section 2601(16) as

an interest in a firm held by a public servant, or the public servant’s spouse, domestic partner, or unemancipated child, which exceeds five percent of the firm or an investment of twenty-five thousand dollars in cash or other form of commitment, whichever is less, or five percent or twenty-five thousand dollars of the firm’s indebtedness, whichever is less, and any lesser interest in a firm when the public servant, or the public servant’s spouse, domestic partner, or unemancipated child exercises managerial control or responsibility regarding any such firm, but shall not include interests held in any pension plan, deferred compensation plan or mutual fund, the investments of which are not controlled by the public servant, the public servant’s spouse, domestic partner, or unemancipated child, or in any blind trust which holds or acquires an ownership interest. The amount of twenty-five thousand dollars specified herein shall be modified by the board pursuant to subdivision a of section twenty-six hundred three. (Emphasis added.)

Charter Section 2603(a) requires the Conflicts of Interest Board, by rule amendment, once every four years to adjust the $25,000 amount established in Section 2601(16) to reflect changes in the CPI for the metropolitan New York-New Jersey region as published by BLS. The foregoing provision became effective on January 1, 1990.

Effective Year Consumer Price Index (CPI) Ownership Interest Amount (rounded to the nearest $1,000) Percent change from 1990 CPI
1990 135.1 $25,000 -
1994 156.0 $29,000 15.5%
1998 172.1 $32,000 27.4%
2002 188.5 $35,000 39.5%
2006 216.6 $40,000 60.3%
2010 238.8 $44,000 76.8%
2014 258.5 $48,000 91.3%
2018 270.1 $50,000 99.9%

According to the BLS, for the period from January 1990, to September 2017, the CPI for the metropolitan area increased from 135.1 to 270.1, reflecting a total increase of 99.9%. Thus, the $25,000 Charter amount will be adjusted to $50,000, rounded to the nearest $1,000.