Catsimatidis: Raising property taxes will chase people away

Ex-mayoral candidate says high taxes and rents are already holding NYC market down

Despite news that billionaire Warren Buffett’s is investing in New York City real estate, the industry is still held down by unaffordably high rents and rising property taxes, according to John Catsimatidis, the top gun at development firm Red Apple Group and a former mayoral candidate.

Although Jeff Blau told Bloomberg earlier this week that the city’s tax system needs an overhaul, Catsimatidis told Bloomberg TV that he thinks hiking rates could suppress the market by encouraging buyers to look for homes in other major U.S. metropolitan areas.

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“I don’t think we should raise taxes and chase people away,” Catsimatidis said. “If we chase out the people that go to the restaurants, take the taxis, etcetera, then the waiters are going to lose their jobs, the bus boys are going to lose their jobs, the taxi cab drivers are going to lose their jobs. It hurts.”

Property taxes for single-family homeowners are expected to increase 3.5 percent in 2015, according to estimates from the Department of Finance. [Bloomberg] — Angela Hunt