State, city officials urge de Blasio to support reforms to commercial rent tax

Proposed bill would lower the rent threshold for businesses that are taxed
May 23, 2017 09:35AM

From left: Dan Garodnick, Brad Hoylman, Bill de Blasio, Gail Brewer and Letitia James

A group of city and state officials is trying to convince Mayor Bill de Blasio to support a bill that will declaw a tax on certain commercial tenants.

The proposed measure increases the rent threshold for a 3.9 percent tax applied to businesses south of 96th Street from $250,000 to $500,000. The rent threshold hasn’t been raised since 2001, and proponents of the bill argue that the tax unfairly burdens small businesses.

Council member Dan Garodnick, Manhattan Borough President Gail Brewer, Sen. Brad Hoylman, Public Advocate Letitia James and several others penned a letter to the mayor asking for his support, Crain’s reported. But changing the rent range would mean losing $52 million in tax revenue. Garodnick told Crain’s that he could find a way to make up the losses in “less than a minute.”

It’s not clear if the measure will make it into the mayor’s $85 billion budget.

In March, the Real Estate Board of New York wrote a letter to the mayor asking that the bill be included. [Crain’s] Kathryn Brenzel