Adjustment of Dollar Amount in Definition of "Ownership Interest"

Proposed Rules: Closed to Comments

Agency:
Comment By: 
Thursday, January 16, 2014
Download Copy of Proposed Rule (.pdf): 

Statement of Basis and Purpose of Proposed Rule

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 Consumer Price Index for the metropolitan New York-New Jersey region as published by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.  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%

According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the twenty-three year period from January 1990, to September 2013, the Consumer Price Index for the metropolitan area increased from 135.1 to 258.5, reflecting a total increase of 91.3%.  Thus, the $25,000 Charter amount should be adjusted to $48,000, rounded to the nearest $1,000, reflecting the requisite increase from the $25,000 Charter amount.

The Conflicts of Interest Board’s authority for these rules is found in Section 2603(a) of the New York City Charter.

Public Hearing
Subject: 

Adjustment of Dollar Amount in Definition of "Ownership Interest"

Public Hearing Date: 
Thursday, January 16, 2014 - 9:00am to 5:00pm
Contact: 

Amber Gonzalez
Assistant Counsel
Conflicts of Interest Board
2 Lafayette Street, Suite #1010, New York, New York 10007
gonzalez@coib.nyc.gov
(212) 442-1405

Location: 
Conflicts of Interest Board
2 Lafayette Street, Suite #1010, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10007