Roman Catholic Church tops NYC’s vacant lot owners

The church could take a huge tax hit under de Blasio's plan

Saints Cyril & Methodius Croatian Roman Catholic Church and East 13th Street lot
Saints Cyril & Methodius Croatian Roman Catholic Church and East 13th Street lot

Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio’s plan to raise taxes on vacant residential lots would have a sizable impact on owners of some of the city’s most valuable vacant lots.

The number of vacant residential lots in the five boroughs exceeds 7,000 and some estimates have recorded closer to 10,500 vacant lots. A survey by Crain’s shows the Roman Catholic Church and government bodies such as the state of New York own many such lots, meaning they could be hit with a huge tax increase if the proposal is passed.

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De Blasio’s plan calls for a hike in taxes on vacant land by an average of $15,300 annually, following a five-year phase-in period, according to estimates by the Independent Budget Office, Crain’s said.

The idea is that by placing such an economic burden on unused lots, owners will choose to develop much-needed housing. However, critics doubt the plan will have the intended effect. [Crain’s]Mark Maurer