Legislative Victory for New York State Subcontractors!

STA achieved another legislative victory. On November 17, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law STA’s priority legislation that sets the maximum amount of retainage that can be held on private commercial projects at 5 percent. The new law, Chapter 657 of the Laws of 2023, amends sections 756-a and 756-c of the General Business Law to limit the withholding of retainage on private commercial projects to no more than five percent where the value of the project equals or exceeds $150,000. The law also requires the prompt release of retainage upon reaching substantial completion as the term is defined in the contract or is contemplated by the terms of the contract. The law takes effect immediately and applies to contracts entered into or after the effective date of the law.

The new law is a step in the right direction of ending the unjustifiable practice of holding substantial amounts of subcontractor money in non-interest-bearing accounts on private construction jobs.

The new law, however, is not included in section 757 of the General Business Law which sets forth the list of contract provisions that are void and unenforceable as a matter of law. It will be critical to inform STA of any efforts to subvert the goals of this bill or to impose “hidden retainage” through other means.

STA would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to all who contributed to this success – to our members and member associations who have written countless letters to the Governor voicing their support.

The association would like to especially thank Empire State Subcontractors Association (ESSA), ESSA Legislative Counsel Greg Serio, STA Legislative Counsel Perry M. Ochacher and Willett Public Affairs, STA Legislative Committee chair Arthur Rubinstein, and AGC of New York, all of without whom this bill and subsequent passage would not have been possible.

STA Advance Helps Subcontractors Grow Their Business - Sign Up for a Session Today!

STA's 2023-2024 Advance Education Program is well underway! Keep reading for a synopsis of our latest events and to sign up for future sessions.

On November 16, CohnReznick presented a program on company valuation by experts from their firm. Attendees were educated in the following areas:

  • Financial performance and trends, including revenue and profitability, current and projected cash flow, balance sheet positions and financial ratios
  • Tangible assets, including backlog and equipment. Intangible assets, including brand, existing customer relationships, workforce and goodwill
  • Liabilities and debt (on and off-balance sheet)
  • Economic and market conditions
  • Future growth prospects
  • Risks, including operational, regulatory, market and external

STA would like to thank CohnReznick for presenting and hosting our association.

Coming up!

Join us and DDC for STA's second Change Order Roundtable! This will be held on Thursday, December 7, from 9-11 am at the DDC offices, located at 30-30 Thomson Avenue, in their training room. DDC officials will go over the change order process at their agency, review the General Contractor's Contract Article 7 - Changes in Work, discuss common errors, and end with a Q&A. Click here for more information.


On December 14, Grassi will be hosting us at their Jericho office and presenting the seminar "Your Financial Statement: Identifying Red Flags" - this program will help subcontractors better understand financial statements to ensure that red flags are considered and interpreted properly. This will be held in person from 8-10 am at Grassi's offices, 50 Jericho Quadrangle Jericho NY. Click here for more information.


On January 10, join us for our New Year Networking event: Where's the work? Some of the top general contractors in New York will be on hand to discuss with attendees their upcoming projects, how to get involved and to make sure you are up to date on your procurement documents. Don't miss this highly anticipated event which will take place from 8-10:30 am at Club 101, 101 Park Avenue. Click here for more information.

TMRB Releases Congestion Pricing Recommendations

The Traffic Mobility Review Board has released their recommendations for what they hope is the first official congestion pricing program in the United States, affecting the area that is designated as the CBD, the Manhattan Central Business District. The CBD encompasses Manhattan south of and inclusive of 60th Street, but excluding the FDR Drive, the West Side Highway, and any surface roadway portion of the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel connecting to West Street. This will have an immense impact on subcontractors due to the heavily increased toll rates for trucks.

Toll Rates for Trucks

Small and large trucks (pictured below) entering the designated CBD zone during peak hours will incur toll charges. The rates have been set to reflect the aim of reducing congestion without unduly burdening truck operators. Small non-articulated box trucks are subject to a toll of $24, approximately 1.6 times the standard auto rate, while large articulated trucks will face a toll of $36, around 2.4 times the standard auto rate.

Time Periods and Discounted Rates

These tolls would apply during standard daytime hours from 5am to 9pm on weekdays and from 9am to 9pm on weekends. To incentivize off-peak travel and reduce congestion during these high traffic periods, a significant nighttime discount of 75% (up from the initial recommendation of 50%) is recommended.

Those trucks entering the congestion pricing zone through the Queens-Midtown, Hugh L. Carey, Holland and Lincoln Tunnels would see a discount: small commercial trucks will get a $12 credit and larger trucks will get $20 off. Drivers who cross into Manhattan over the George Washington Bridge, north of the congestion zone, would not receive a discounted toll. There would be no discount overnight when the toll is already cut by 75%.

Next steps for congestion pricing

The road for these recommendations is not a simple one. The review will have to be officially recommended by the TMRB, as well as face a legal battle with the state of New Jersey, who is suing the federal government to block the tolls.

In February 2024, there will be a public hearing after which an MTA Board vote will be scheduled to approve the recommendations. 

STA will advocate on behalf of New York City’s subcontractors

The association will be seeking clarification on multiple issues and will advocate for a price adjustment on existing contracts that will be impacted by the new tolling structure. We will also push for there to be toll caps for trucks each day. Please look out for further communications from STA on this major issue.

Don't Fall Short Under OSHA Protection

By Michael Rubin, Ogletree Deakins,

The duty to have fall protection in construction (OSHA section 1926.501) regularly tops the list of most frequently cited OSHA standards following workplace inspections. When it comes to the construction industry, however, fall protection—though of paramount importance—is not the only requirement for an effective safety program. This article will address some critical considerations for subcontractors when it comes to ensuring compliance with applicable OSHA standards and, more generally, keeping their workers safe. 

Read More

Upcoming STA Events

NYC DDC Change Order Process Roundtable

Tuesday, December 7, 2023

9:00am - 11:00am

DDC Offices, 30-30 Thomson Avenue, Long Island City

Free for STA members


Your financial statements: Identifying Red Flags, presented by Grassi

Thursday, December 14, 2023

8:00 am - 10:00 am

Grassi office, 50 Jericho Quadrangle, Jericho, NY

Free for STA members


Where's the work?

Network in the New Year with STA! At a trades-show like set up, STA members will get to network with the top general contractors, and each other, on January 10.

Wednesday, January 10, 2023

8:00 am - 10:30 am

Club 101, 101 Park Avenue

Open to STA Members only

Registration $79


As we step into the winter season, it's the perfect time for the association to come together and make a positive impact in our community. STA Young Professionals Committee is excited to announce our association-wide inaugural yearly volunteer & donation program: STA Gives Back.


Charities often see an influx of donations and volunteers during the holiday season, which is why STA is committing to the first few months of the new year, a time when many community groups see a downturn in giving. STA has chosen three different charities to support from January to March, with different levels of involvement. We urge all of our members to participate or give.  

Click here for the full STA Gives Back program

Welcome New STA Members!

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