As predicted, the Court of Appeals decision in Roberts vs. Tishman, which found that buildings with J-51 tax benefits could not utilize luxury decontrol of rent stabilized apartments, is beginning to generate litigation on related and not-so-related issues.

One of the more surprising decisions is by Housing Court Judge Bruce E. Scheckowitz in the case of W Associates vs. Maverick Scott (Housing Court, New York County, Index No. 73831/2009, December 23, 2009).

The case involves a building (37 Wall St.) in the Financial District that received a tax abatement pursuant to 421-g of the New York State Real Property Tax Law. 421-g, passed in 1995, is a tax abatement program designed to encourage the conversion of outmoded downtown office buildings to residential uses and to help create a mixed-use community in lower Manhattan. In fifteen years the program has successfully transformed the Financial District into a 24-hour neighborhood. Currently, there are about 84 buildings receiving 421-g tax abatements.

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By Harold Shultz