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Abstract

New York City administers a real estate tax incentive program, called the J-51 program, for eligible building owners who rehabilitate existing structures. Despite the need for such a program, various problems and abuses arose, emphasizing the need for major reform. Economic conditions changed the housing market and the tax incentives demonstrated several deleterious effects which contravene the original legislative intent of the program. After long negotiations surrounding several competing arguments, reforms were made. The current revisions were necessary to correct the abuses and to return the program to its original purpose of providing adequate housing for moderate and lower income families. This goal may be realized by eliminating the award of financial incentives for rehabilitation work performed in specified geographic areas and for the benefit of economic groups for which this type of assistance cannot be justified by considerations of social policy.

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