January 4, 2017
The real estate business in New York City spends lavishly to support politicians who might influence their deals, according to an extensive investigative story published by ProPublica.
The reporters identified $21 million in donations to state candidates and party committees since 2000. New York has tight restrictions on how much corporations can contribute to political campaigns. However, limited liability corporations like the ownership structures that own many real estate properties are able to give much more. Several top development firms have contributed millions to political candidates since 2000.
State and local officials are responsible for programs like New York’s rent stabilization laws, and tax breaks like New York’s 421-A property tax exemption, which provides benefits that total $1.4 billion a year to New York property owners, according to ProPublica.