Albany reconsiders pied-à-terre tax, could tax real estate sales instead

Pied-à-terre tax would further complicate how city values residential properties

Lawmakers in Albany are reconsidering a proposal to tax secondary homes, or pieds-à-terre, in order to fund the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s capital budget.

The state is now considering a tax increase on real estate transactions instead, Politico reported, citing five sources close to the negotiations. One source said the pied-à-terre proposal isn’t dead yet but is “headed there.” It’s not immediately clear what a change in real estate taxes would look like.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued to push for the pied-à-terre tax in a radio interview on Monday morning, but the tide appeared to have turned by Monday afternoon.

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Another source told Politico that the tax proved to be too “onerous,” and would further complicate New York City’s already convoluted property tax system.

On another radio interview Tuesday, Cuomo acknowledged the tax could be designed in different ways — as an annual tax or a transfer tax — but as of now, “we’re committed to doing it and as of now we’re on the pied-à-terre tax.”

A recurring topic in city and state politics, the idea of a pied-à-terre tax was put forward again this month as a way to fund the MTA, as it became clear that a plan to legalize and tax marijuana would not come together in time. Albany lawmakers already agreed to a congestion pricing plan on Monday, with revenues earmarked for MTA repairs

The pied-à-terre proposal was poorly received in the real estate world, with the Real Estate Board of New York’s John Banks saying it would “throw a huge wet blanket” over the entire industry. [Politico] Kevin Sun