Today, leaders and members of New York Communities for Change, Make the Road New York, and Long Island Progressive Coalition rallied in front of Senator Skelos’s office to demand he ends his ties to New York City Billionaires and cease his support of the 421-a tax abatement program.
The rally came as U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is taking a hard look at Skelos’ ties to the real estate industry.
Residents were heartbroken that Senator Skelos prefers New York City real estate billionaires over working families on Long Island, and urged him to please take working families as his valentine.
Recently, Sen. Skelos told the press that extending 421-A, a tax abatement that provided $1.1 billion in unnecessary tax breaks for luxury condos in 2014, is a top priority for him.
Beneficiaries of 421-a are the wealthiest developers, including Extell Development Company, which built One57, the skyscraper where an apartment was recently sold for a record-setting $100 million.
At a time when property taxes are sky high on Long Island, it is senseless to subsidize luxury developers. Instead of supporting 421-A, Sen. Skelos should make sure that New York City billionaire developers pay taxes on the full value of their properties, just like every Long Island homeowner does. By ending tax subsidies for the wealthiest individuals and companies, we can reduce Long Island’s property taxes and raise enough money for our schools.
With roses, valentine’s cards and teddy bears, Long Island residents presented their gifts to Skelos staff. Residents, like Mimi Pierre Johnson implored Skelos to break up with his New York City billionaires by not extending 421-A, his biggest gift to NYC’s real estate titans:
“I am broken hearted that my Senator loves NYC real estate billionaires more than Long Island working families. The fact that the Senator is under investigation for his ties to the real estate industry is troubling to say the least. His public support for tax breaks for 421A tells me he loves billionaires more than he loves me as his constituent. Today I gave him a Valentine’s Day card and flower to ask him to break up with his real state billionaires and be my Valentine. Will you be my Valentine Senator Skelos?” said Mimi Pierre Johnson, resident of Elmont and member of New York Communities for Change.
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