The Real Deal New York

Ask me about my mansion tax: Mayor ends presser after reporters ask off-topic questions

De Blasio held conference at 432 Park Avenue
March 23, 2017 04:42PM

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Facebook)

A press conference intended to promote Mayor Bill de Blasio’s mansion tax devolved into a standoff with reporters who asked off-topic questions.

De Blasio abruptly ended a press conference on Thursday after reporters asked about major news of the day, including the racially-driven murder of a black man in Midtown, a court ruling against the city, and the arrest of a suspect in bomb threats to Jewish centers, Politico reported. The mayor, who only holds press availability once a week, was determined to speak solely about the mansion tax and the “missed opportunity” at 432 Park Avenue TRData LogoTINY.

De Blasio has repeatedly lobbied Albany to impose a 2.5 percent tax on sales of $2 million or more to help pay for senior housing. He said 432 Park would’ve raised $30 million with such a tax in place.

The idea doesn’t seem to be picking up any steam in Albany. Still, when reporters asked off-topic questions, including ones involving breaking news, he shut down the press conference.

“This is how we set things up, guys. You don’t want to be a part of it, you don’t have to come,” the mayor said. And then, just before leaving, he said. “That’s great, guys. I’m done.”

Though the mayor didn’t realize it, someone in the supertall had placed a sign in their window that read: “De Blasio doesn’t care about the working middle class. Don’t let this speech fool you.”

A transcript of the press event from the mayor’s office labeled all of the reporters’ off-topic questions as “inaudible.”  [Politico] — Kathryn Brenzel