Prevailing Wages for Coop and Condo Building Staff
Rule status: Adopted
Effective date: May 27, 2022
Proposed Rule Full Text
Adopted Rule Full Text
Adopted rule summary:
The amended rule requires, among other things, that prevailing wages be paid to building staff at various real properties (i.e., buildings) in order for these buildings to qualify for the abatement under section 467-a.
Comments are now closed.
Online comments: 5
These comments are submitted by Paul J. Korngold on behalf of the New York City Real Estate Tax Review Barr Association.
Thank you for allowing the New York City Real Estate Tax Review Barr Association to submit comments on the proposed amendments to Partial Tax Abatement for Residential
Real Property Held in the Cooperative or Condominium Form of Ownership.
We believe the following changes to the rules are required:
1.The rules do not specify how are the benefits for building service employees such as rent free apartments, reimbursement stipends, vacation pay and other benefits factored into whether or not the employee receives a prevailing wage. If a prevailing wage audit is held, the Comptroller allows that these items be computed into the employee’s pay. The rules should make clear that this is additional compensation to be considered part of the employees pay.
2. The rules provide that the building must not be receiving a 421-a or J-51 tax exemption as of January 5 of the tax year. This is a problem for buildings in their final year of either a J-51 or 421-a exemption. For example, a building which in its final year of a 421-a exemption will have this exemption on January 5, 2022 so the current rules provide that this building is not eligible for the abatement. However by July1 (the commencement of the tax year) there no longer is an exemption but the building is unfairly precluded from obtaining the condo abatement on July 1 even though there is no exemption for that tax year because the exemption was still in effect on the prior January 5.
Our Condo has decided they will withdraw from the Coop/Condo Abatement. They are paying all employees the recommended wage, insurance, time off, and pension. What are the additional requirements to keep this abatement? I cannot find the “other” requirements that caused our Board to withdraw. They also said that they anticipate that the Governor will cancel this Condo/Coop Abatement when it comes up for renewal either this year or next year. I cannot find any documentation about a possible “”cancellation” of this amendment or any information that it is even being considered for cancellation. This Abatement has been very important to us and has allowed us to stay in our Condo which is our primary residence. Can our Condo become reinstated after withdrawal the following year with proper documentation?
Janice M halpern
On the website it says that “…unit owners and shareholders will be required to certify their primary residency to their managing agents or boards. The managing agent will be responsible for maintaining the certification in their records. ” What is the form of the certification? Should there be a letter? An affidavit? An email? Who will inform the unit holders that this certification is necessary. What is a managing agent required to do to obtain such certifications?
I am Secretary of my 35-unit co-op in Manhattan and would like to register the following objections concerning the impact the new property tax abatement/prevailing wage law on the building and its residents:
§ The law will likely have a deleterious impact on residents reliant on fixed incomes, for whom maintenance increases can cause financial distress. If implemented, the new law would necessitate we increase our superintendent’s compensation by 58% (because of the cap on the supplement benefit portion) or lose our tax abatement. Such an increase in maintenance would pose an undue hardship on those residents.
§ Property taxes on co-ops are determined by rent charged on comparable apartments and rents have increased significantly over the last year. Thus, this will likely result in a higher real estate tax assessment. Real estate taxes are our largest budget item, and in the past we have increased maintenance to cover the increase and this could be true in the 2021/2022 fiscal year.
§ The prevailing wage appears to be the same as the union wage. However, this is flawed because union members pay dues, a portion of their health insurance premium, and transportation costs which our employee does not.
§ Our employee is not an “at-will” employee because he is covered by an employment agreement, which prohibits his firing without cause and lays out the procedure that must be taken if his work is not satisfactory.
Marshall Steeves, SecretaryComment attachment
55 East Owners Corp.
This law will result in co-ops and condos firing long-time employees. A choice between doubling the compensation of some employees or letting them go…is no choice at all.
This may not be the intention, but this will be the result.
I represent a NYC co-op. We have loyal employees that keep our building clean. We pay them 50% more than minimum wage. We give them generous vacation and sick time. But Prevailing Wage (with benefits) would require us to almost double their compensation. That will force us to make the very difficult decision to let some of them go.
And when they are unemployed what will their options be? To clean a store for minimum wage? Or perhaps a dollar or two more per hour? And they will lose their vacation time (if they are given any at all) and job security.
Please delay implementation of this law. Give it some further thought so that NYC buildings can retain loyal employees.
Doubling compensation overnight is not viable. We need more time or more flexibility.