Oct 4, 2010
Dear Speaker Quinn,
We were heartened to finally hear you state a position on Intro 48, as you were quoted in several news stories last week. We share your concerns about making sure that Intro 48, when it's passed, is implemented in such a way that it doesn't lead to unnecessary spending. But we were very surprised to hear you estimate the cost at "millions of dollars," considering that we had provided your staff with our own cost analysis (which is available here and which projected a figure closer to $50K to $75K), and when I asked your staff if your office had conducted any research or analysis that put the potential cost higher or lower, we were told you had not. So we're eager to learn from you where this "millions of dollars" figure came from.
In addition, your staffer Maria Alvarado is on the record as asking "what “clear policy changes” came out of" the 2006 Manhattan Vacant Building and Lot Count. Actually, there are a number of "clear policy changes," one of which was a state bill introduced and passed by State Senator Jose Serrano in 2008, at the urging of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, which took away tax incentives from landlords who keep buildings vacant (Daily News coverage is here).
We continue to hope to meet with your office and share this and other relevant information, and we're happy to invite to that meeting other stakeholders who can answer some of your questions, particularly around cost and policy recommendations.