Will Gov. Hochul sign nationally important anti-corruption legislation?
Yesterday, Attorney General Tish James and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli announced that they support the LLC Transparency Act (S995-B (Hoylman-Sigal) / A3484-A (Gallagher)), which passed the New York State Legislature earlier this year. This important legislation is supported by state and national watchdog groups, housing rights advocates, and important labor unions, including the New York City and Vicinity District Council of Carpenters and Hotel Trades Council. Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg has also called for the Governor to sign the bill.
Attorney General James said:
The LLC Transparency Act will help protect New Yorkers from bad landlords, wage theft, tax cheats, and corruption … I’m proud to support [Assemblymember Emily Gallagher] and [Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal]’s important legislation.
Comptroller DiNapoli said:
Corporate transparency is fundamental to corporate responsibility and accountability. While many LLCs are formed for legitimate business reasons, too often this structure has been abused to shield and facilitate illicit conduct. This bill builds on federal law to bring additional sunlight on corporations doing business in New York.
At a rally yesterday calling for the bill’s signing, advocates were joined by Senator Liz Krueger, as well as Assemblymembers Alex Bores, Marcela Mitaynes, Karines Reyes, and Tony Simone.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said that “Central Park skyscrapers” are a place where corrupt actors can hide “ill-gotten gains” through LLC shell companies. Last week, Reinvent Albany published an analysis of 5.5 million property records finding that 37% of Manhattan’s real estate properties are owned by LLCs – more than five times the state average.
The LLC Transparency Act mirrors the federal Corporate Transparency Act, which requires LLCs to report their beneficial owners – the actual human owners – to the Treasury Department for inclusion in a database accessible to tax authorities and law enforcement. The NY bill takes the crucial step of requiring that this LLC data be included in a public database where it can be used by journalists, watchdog groups, and New Yorkers.