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New Legislation Aims to Grant Landlords Tax Breaks In Exchange for Rent Relief During the Pandemic

NYC landlords could be eligible for 10 years worth of property tax breaks if the bills pass

Manhattan outdoor dining only during Phase Two reopening, Trionas Bar
Outdoor dining in Manhattan
Joan Slatkin/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Erika Adams is the editor of Eater Boston.

Several New York politicians have introduced two new bills to help small businesses, including restaurants and bars, manage their sky-high rent payments during the pandemic.

In the proposed plan, four legislators want the state to authorize NYC to be able to give 10 years worth of property tax breaks to landlords who are willing to agree on new lease terms with struggling business tenants. Landlords would be expected to renegotiate lease terms to address unpaid back rent and limit future rent hikes, the NY Daily News reports.

NYC Council Members including Brad Lander, who represents parts of Brooklyn including Cobble Hill, Gowanus, and Park Slope, and Keith Powers, who represents Manhattan neighborhoods including the Upper East Side and Times Square, joined with state assembly member Yuh-Line Niou, who represents parts of lower Manhattan including Chinatown and the Lower East Side, and state senator Brian Kavanagh, to propose the two new bills.

The bills are the latest in several pieces of proposed local legislature that some lawmakers are pushing in a bid to help NYC’s small businesses survive the pandemic. In July, Powers introduced a bill to abolish commercial rent tax in the city until the state of emergency has lifted. He also called on the city to take a number of support actions for small businesses, including permanently implementing an annual outdoor dining program that restaurants can rely on to boost sales.

The bill addressing commercial rent tax relief is up to seven sponsors, according to Powers’ office, and they are hoping for a hearing “in the coming weeks” to move the legislation forward.

NYC restaurants have been permanently closing in droves as the pandemic continues to devastate the city’s economy. Many owners have cited failed lease renegotiations as the reason for permanent closures.

  • NYC pols propose tax breaks for landlords who go easy on small businesses’ rent [NY Daily News]