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J-51 passes Council 49-0.

The New York City Council passed the J-51 measure unanimously last Wednesday in a vote of 49 to O. Two members were absent.

The bill, 605A, now goes to New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins who is expected to sign it within the next two weeks.

Once signed, the benefits will be retroactive to July 1 for multi-family apartments and Aug. 7 for co-ops and condos.

New aspects of the legislation will increase the availability of the J-51 to buildings with average unit assessments up to $40,000 and permit J-51's for asbestos removal, among other items.

Charles Rappaport, president of the Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives, said, "After the mayor signs it we'll have to sweat it out with HPD to liberalize the regulations."

Under the old law, he said, HPD limited items eligible for J-51's in co-ops and condos. The new law puts the onus on Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to publish a list of items that would be eligible.

"I think lead paint abatement should be addressed and asbestos removal, in and of itself should be a major capital improvement," Rappaport said, "as well as those things that are mandated by local laws, such as conversion of incinerators to compactors, the costs for water meters and Local Law 10 compliance." Mayor Dinkins is expected to sign the bill within two weeks.

Where engineering reports are required for permits for major capital improvements, the engineer's charges should be eligible for J-51, he added.

Marolyn Davenport, vice president of the Real Estate Board of New York, said, "We support the extension of J-51 but we were disappointed it was not expanded to cover lead abatement and did not address the issue of the cap on MCI's especially on window replacement."

If an owner applies for J-51 benefits, under J-51 regulations, they are only eligible to obtain 50 percent of the Major Capital Improvement increases.

Mary Ann Rothman, executive director of the Council of New York Cooperatives, said, "It's a good and fair law and enables those of us who live in the housing stock to upgrade and maintain it. We have to now urge HPD to write the regulations and encourage them to give us certified reasonable prices that reflect the costs that will be incurred in 1993 and 1994 and not 1893 and 1894."
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Title Annotation:New York, New York City Council passes bill designed for tax relief to apartment house owners in such things as asbestos removal
Author:Weiss, Lois
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 9, 1993
Previous Article:Housing key to communities Assemb. Lasher tells ABO.
Next Article:Tax roll out.

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