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In the midst of this public-health crisis, members of the New York City real-estate industry are calling upon the government to suspend all taxes and fees until further notice.

There should be a “significant expansion of federal, state and programs to support our economy and help restaurants, retailers and small businesses,” according to the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). The organization believes that relief should include low- to no-interest loans or cash grants, as well as suspensions of property taxes and other fees, such as the city’s commercial-rent tax and sales-tax payments.

REBNY’s request is a clear sign that people and companies are having difficulty paying rent in this extremely trying environment. With many being laid off, brick-and-mortar shops closing, and dining establishments limited to takeout, there’s now a struggle to generate the cash needed to maintain businesses and honor debt obligations.

“For those operators who can’t transition their business to a takeout model and are shuttering, there is no rent right now,” an executive at a large landlord told Crain’s New York.

REBNY is also requesting that the “long-scrutinized” commercial-rent tax, a 3.9% levy on commercial rents, be suspended. Landlords have always felt this was an unnecessary fee and a major burden on businesses.

"We’re trying at this moment to understand how corona and its impact will affect the city’s revenue and budget," said City Councilperson Keith Powers. "We are being cautious and careful in terms of how we proceed because of that."

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During this time of crisis, Newman Ferrara attorneys remain available to be of assistance. If you would like to confer with counsel, please call 212-619-5400.

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To view the full story in Crain’s New York, click here: https://www.crainsnewyork.com/real-estate/citys-real-estate-industry-joins-growing-chorus-seeking-relief