De Blasio to float “mansion tax” again

Mayor revives long-shot proposal in election year

New York /
Jan.January 30, 2017 10:32 AM

Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to renew his call for a “mansion tax” during a visit to Albany Monday morning.

The proposal, however, seems like a legislative long-shot, but will rally the mayor’s base in an election year, Politico reported.

De Blasio is expected to propose a 2.5 percent property transfer tax on all home sales of $2 million or more during testimony on Andrew Cuomo’s budget before the state Legislature, according to details City Hall released Sunday evening.

“We are asking for some basic tax fairness from the wealthiest New Yorkers so low-income seniors can afford their rent and continue to call the greatest city in the world their home,” the mayor said in a prepared statement.

But one real estate official who spoke on background because he had not seen the proposal said it had little chance of getting passed.

“DOA,” he told Politico. “But it works for the mayor in terms of running for re-election and is a red meat issue for much of his base.”

De Blasio’s biggest challenger so far is Cushman & Wakefield’s TRData LogoTINY Paul Massey, who outraised the incumbent mayor in the most recent campaign finance filings for the second half of 2016.

De Blasio had proposed a similar plan in negotiations to reform 421a back in 2015, but the state legislature shot it down. He had wanted a 1 percent flat tax on sales above $1.75 million, as well as a 1.5 percent marginal tax when sales climbed above the $5 million mark.

That would have raised an estimated $2 billion over the span of 10 years.

The city’s Office of Management and Budget estimates there will be 4,500 sales of homes costing $2 million or more in the next fiscal year, which would work out to $336 million in revenue for the city.

City Hall claims it would use that money to fund rent subsidies for 25,000 low-income senior citizens in the model of a tenant-based voucher program similar to the federal program Section 8. [Politico]Rich Bockmann


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