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Another Tenant Victory in Roberts v. Tishman Speyer Case? Another Bill from Catharine Young to Reverse It!

Monday, January 30th, 2012

In today’s meeting of the Senate committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development, Senator Catharine Young reintroduced S5763B, a bill that would undo the tenants’ latest victory in the Roberts v. Tishman Speyer Properties case.

Although her previous bill reversing the tenants’ earlier victory never managed to gain any traction, an earlier version of this bill did pass the Senate last year (but died in Assembly).

Last August, tenants won a second court victory when the New York state appellate court ruled that landlords who illegally deregulated apartments (while simultaneously receiving J-51 tax benefits) are liable for retroactive damages — meaning that they have to pay back the overcharged rent that they collected from their tenants.

Even though Young crafted the original version of this bill prior to that court victory, the bill reverses the court’s decision by allowing landlords to return to the government any J-51 tax breaks received prior to the decision (October 22, 2009), and thereby setting the base rent for all affected apartments to be whatever the legal rent was on that date. (1:10 in video)

Senate Passes 2 of Catharine Young’s Anti-Tenant Bills

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

In today’s Senate session, Catharine Young debated her latest pro-landlord bill S5763 against senators Daniel Squadron, Thomas Duane, Liz Krueger, and Adriano Espaillat, who represent various districts of New York City which are targeted by the bill.

The goal of the bill is to allow landlords who illegally deregulated rent stabilized apartments (while simultaneously receiving J-51 tax benefits) to return those benefits to the government, thereby keeping the rent that they overcharged their tenants.

The property most notably affected by this bill is Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, whose tenants won a major court victory against their landlords in 2009 regarding several years of illegally overcharged rent (Roberts v. Tishman Speyer Properties). This bill would reverse the court’s decision and hand victory back to the billionaire landlords.

Young had tried the same thing earlier this year with a similar bill S4117A, but that bill failed to gain any traction. (33:50 in video)

Catharine Young later went on to debate her bill S5041 (with the help of her fellow Republican senators Michael Nozzolio and Carl Marcellino) against Krueger, Espaillat, and Gustavo Rivera. This bill would give a landlord the power to evict a rent regulated tenant by claiming that the tenant failed to properly file a tax return or voted in the wrong place. By shifting the burden of proving primary residency to the tenant, the tenant’s rights to due process would be greatly reduced. (2:12:57 in video)

As usual, Catharine Young’s own constituents are not affected by either of these bills in any way. In spite of this fact, both bills were passed by the Senate (34-28) and now move to the Assembly.

Catharine Young Tries to Prevent NYC from Collecting Property Taxes on New Developments

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

At today’s meeting of the Senate Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development, Senator Catharine Young introduced S4381, a bill that would temporarily prevent New York City from collecting local taxes on newly constructed private homes containing 3 or fewer units. This bill would only apply to NYC, and would therefore have no effect in Senator Young’s own district. Obviously, New York City opposes the bill. (2:28 in video)

Catharine Young Says: Deregulate More Apartments, Evict Tenants who Vote at the Wrong Place!

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

In today’s meeting of the Senate committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development, Senator Catharine Young introduced S5041, a bill that would give landlords the ability to evict rent stabilized tenants if they fail to file a city/state tax return, or vote in the wrong place. The bill would also to allow a landlord to challenge a tenant’s primary residency at any time during the lease. (4:10 in video)

Young also introduced S5047, a bill that would keep the high income rent regulation at the 1997 level of $175,000, ignoring the massive median-income and cost-of-living increases that occurred during that 14 year period, and to require all rent regulated tenants to file documents every year proving that their income is less than $175,000. Any tenant who failed to file the documents would be presumed to be making more than $175,000, which would trigger destabilization of his/her rent. And to force more deregulations, this bill would change the way the figure is calculated: gross income would be used instead of adjusted gross income, and rather than requiring a $175,000+ income for two successive years, the calculation would be based on the average of the prior two years. (11:43 in video)

Tenants Win Major Court Victory? Not on Catharine Young’s Watch!

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

In 2009, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that the owners of Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, a sprawling middle-class apartment complex in lower Manhattan, illegally deregulated around 4,400 apartments while at the same time receiving J-51 tax breaks. In many cases, the rents more than tripled.

In today’s meeting of the Senate Committee on Housing, Construction and Community Development, Senator Catharine Young, in an effort to become the best friend of every New York City landlord, introduced S4117A, a bill that would undo the tenants’ victory in the Roberts v. Tishman Speyer Properties case by allowing landlords to return J-51 tax breaks to the government. By doing so, the billionaire landlords would get to keep all of the rent overcharges that they received from illegally destabilized middle-class tenants, and to keep those tenants at market rent forever.