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Saturday, May 12, 2007


TAX TRICKS: Developers Are Rushing To Beat the Tax Man - May 3, 2007 - The New York Sun 

Developers Are Rushing To Beat the Tax Man - May 3, 2007 - The New York Sun

Here is some interesting information about tax law and how it affects real estate development.

As debate rages in the state Legislature in Albany about a revised version of the popular tax abatement program, residential developers around the city are rushing to get their foundations in the ground before the current version of the program expires at the end of the year. Construction is now slated for more than 100 sites throughout the city for new residential condominiums. No matter what compromise is reached in Albany, developers agree that the new version of the program will not be as generous as the current one.

"The uncertainty of the 421-a legislation continues to drive construction and development, causing everyone to rush to get foundations in before the end of the year," the senior partner in the real estate department of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, Ross Moskowitz, said. "Although not the intended objective, the loss of 421-a benefits in its present form, especially outside of Manhattan, will result in less projects being built and a corresponding reduction in the number of affordable units being constructed."

The 421-a tax incentive program was created in 1971 to spur housing development. Under the program, housing developers within designated areas are given tax incentives to develop housing. The program has helped fuel the construction of more than 110,000 apartments in New York City.


Edifying. There are so many moving parts and so many factors to consider when buying, selling and devloping property.

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GORDON BROWN: THE MAN WHO WOULD BE PRIME MINISTER Blair Endorses Gordon Brown as His Successor - New York Times 

Blair Endorses Gordon Brown as His Successor - New York Times



How will Gordon Brown be different from the affable Tony Blair? How will his policies be similar?

As a first step to becoming prime minister, Mr. Brown announced his candidacy in the race for the Labor Party leadership, although it is doubtful that he will face serious opposition. Most Labor Party heavyweights who might have challenged Mr. Brown signaled their reluctance to do so in the weeks leading to Mr. Blair’s announcement on Thursday that he would step down on June 27.

Two Labor left-wingers who said they would challenge Mr. Brown have failed to reach a deal on which of them should stand, apparently because of a lack of support among Labor lawmakers.

Mr. Brown appeared before a crowd of cheering, youthful Labor Party supporters in central London to make his announcement today.

“Today I announce that I’m a candidate to be leader of the Labor Party and to lead a new government,” he said.

In a clear effort to distance himself from Mr. Blair, he promised greater government accountability, new procedures to allow parliament a voice in going to war and a greater stress on what he called “hearts and minds” alongside military efforts to combat terrorism and promote security.

“Tony Blair has led our country for 10 years with distinction, with courage, with passion and with insight and in the weeks and months ahead my task is to show that I have the new ideas, the vision and the experience to earn the trust of the British people,” Mr. Brown said. “Today there are new priorities and I offer a new leadership for this new time.”


He will almost certainly run unopposed. But will he have the support of the British people?

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SARKOZY SAYS ITS OKAY TO BE FRENCH: The Sarkozy of the Future Jousts With the Chirac of the Past - New York Times 

The Sarkozy of the Future Jousts With the Chirac of the Past - New York Times

A new brand of talk from this different style of European leader

President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy, by contrast, does not believe in saying he is sorry.

“I’m going to make the French proud of France again,” Mr. Sarkozy said in his speech after he was elected president on Sunday. “I am going to bring an end to repentance, which is a form of self-hatred, and the battle of memories that feeds hatred of others.”

But when Mr. Chirac pointedly asked Mr. Sarkozy to attend a ceremony remembering the victims of the French slave trade and celebrating the abolition of slavery, he could not refuse.

Perhaps it was a last act of Chirac-ian vengeance, just six days before Mr. Sarkozy takes over. Mr. Chirac and Mr. Sarkozy do not like each other, even though Mr. Sarkozy served as a minister in Mr. Chirac’s cabinet and Mr. Chirac endorsed him — reluctantly — for president.


Which way will Sarkozy now go?

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JIHAD EVERYWHERE: Qaeda Presence in Pakistan Worries Britain - New York Times 

Qaeda Presence in Pakistan Worries Britain - New York Times

Pakistan is our putative ally. What should and can they do to confront Al Qaeda?

The diplomat, Robert Brinkley, the British high commissioner to Pakistan, said that although the Pakistani government had made praiseworthy efforts to find and detain terrorists, “the fight is not finished.”

“There are still some terrorists able to get in touch with the others,” Mr. Brinkley said, speaking at the Peshawar Press Club.

Of particular concern, he said, was that extremists in Britain were still communicating with terrorist leaders in the tribal areas, looking to them for “guidance, ideas and, in some cases, training for operations.” Such contacts were believed to have been a factor in the deadly London transit bombings in July 2005, he said, adding, “It’s top priority to ensure it does not happen again.”


Britain sees a lot of travelers from Pakistan. They seem to be quite worried.

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BLAIR STEPS OUT: Blair Choreographs End to a Stewardship Dogged by Iraq - New York Times 

Blair Choreographs End to a Stewardship Dogged by Iraq - New York Times

Blair walks out, via the Third Way, of 10 Downing Street



Traveling by executive jet and motorcade to his northern constituency, Mr. Blair announced after months of speculation that he would give up the post of prime minister on June 27. The date will bookmark a decade in which he sacrificed his popularity to the war in Iraq and struggled at home to improve schools, policing and hospitals.

Yet he and his allies seemed to suggest Thursday that for all the missteps, he changed something in his nation’s debate and its mood, and, with it, Britain’s place in the world. “This is a country today that for all its faults, for all the myriad of unresolved problems and fresh challenges, is comfortable in the 21st century — at home in its own skin, able not just to be proud of its past but confident of its future,” he said.


Tony Blair's domestic and foreign legacy will be decided by history books not newspapers.

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