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State Politicians Think the Rent is Too Damn High, Others Disagree

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Just like kindergarten teachers and marriage counselors preach, compromise is the key to settling conflict. Why should the New York City Rent Wars be any different? A package of rent regulation laws is set to expire soon, and some legislators in the tenant-friendly State Assembly would like some of these protections to be strengthened?like the triggers for when a rent-stabilized apartment can be deregulated. Currently, landlords can move an apartment to market rates when the rent reaches $2,000 per month and total household income of the tenants is at least $175,000 for two consecutive years. Assemblymen like the mighty Sheldon Silver would like to see that bumped up to $2,700 and $240,000 in annual income. Real estate lobbyists and the State Senate usually conspire to kill whatever rent-related bills the State Assembly passes, so what makes this year's dance any different? Remember the word of the day, kids: Compromise!

One of Gov. Andrew Cuomo's campaign promises was a cap on property taxes, something that the Assembly has historically been against, in part because of the loss of revenue, and also because it's fun to stick it to the suburbs. Well, in a bit of you-scratch-my-back-I'll-scratch-yours wink-wink-nudge-nudging, the Assembly might be open to the property tax cap if some of those rent protections become law. According to the Times, which has a detailed report on the back-room dealings, the bargaining could also include the extension of the 421-a tax break that developers covet.

Any deal is a ways off, and the powerful real estate lobby?which keeps throwing money at Cuomo's pet issues?argues that the tax cap and rent regulation issues should not be connected. But hey, even the Hatfields and the McCoys were able to come to an agreement after a while, right? Or did they all just end up killing each other?
· State Assembly May Tie Property-Tax Cap to City’s Rent Rules [NYT]
· Biz fills a $10M war chest [Crain's]