This week on Billionaires’ Row in Manhattan, unions, housing rights advocates, and watchdog groups rallied in support of the LLC Transparency Act (Times Union). The bill, which passed the Legislature earlier this year, requires LLCs registered in NY to report their beneficial owners – their real human owners – to the state government, and for that information to be included in a public database. Shortly before the rally, Attorney General Tish James and Comptroller Tom DiNapoli voiced support for the bill, which Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg also supports.
Most of the conversation related to LLCs has focused on their role in money laundering, but the Community Service Society of New York has noted that some LLC owners may be receiving subsidies – and because of LLCs’ shady nature, we don’t know who those owners are:
Without public beneficial ownership information it is impossible to know who, exactly, is benefitting from subsidies and tax breaks or who is violating rent laws and building codes … Limited liability is a privilege conferred upon an individual by the state, and that privilege should come on the condition of beneficial ownership disclosure.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has said that corrupt actors often stash money in “Central Park skyscrapers” – the exact type of buildings receiving huge subsidies such as 421-a.
Other NY corporate giveaway news:
- Crain’s calls last week’s Penn Station ruling “a blow to transparency.”
- At Boondoggle, Pat Garofalo writes about how officials spin computer chip fab subsidy rhetoric. Last year, NYS approved up to $5.5 billion in subsidies for Micron to build a chip fab in the upstate town of Clay.
If you got this from a friend, sign up here. This week’s Subsidy Sheet was written by Tom Speaker and edited by John Kaehny.
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