The Daily Dirt: Return of the pied-à-terre tax

An analysis of New York's top real estate news

The pied-à-terre tax bill just took a step forward. But will it pass?

On July 23, Sen. Brad Hoylman tweeted: “Tax pied-à-terres. Anyone who owns one can afford to pay a little more to help New York City recover.” Now, the Assembly has printed a bill identical to the Senate’s — meaning that if they both pass, the measure heads to the governor’s desk.

The bill would increase property taxes for one- to three-family homes that are valued at more than $5 million and for condos and co-ops with assessed values of more than $300,000, only for second homes. Previous attempts to pass the bill have failed, in part, because lawmakers couldn’t figure out how to treat co-ops under the measure, as co-op buildings pay one tax bill. But the latest iteration of the bill solves this conundrum by having co-ops collect extra money from absentee owners and then passing that money onto the state, Erik Engquist reports.

But even with that hurdle out of the way, it isn’t clear whether the bill will have better luck this time around. Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn’t been keen on the idea of taxing the wealthy, out of fear of driving them — and their money – out of the state. He hasn’t specifically weighed in on pied-à-terres lately, but last year he opted for a one-time transfer tax instead. So, we’ll see.

Speaking of things that would make the industry angry, here’s the latest on the city’s broker fee ban.

The next court date for a lawsuit challenging the state’s broker fee ban is now slated for Oct. 23, Erin Hudson reports.

The suit — filed in February by the Real Estate Board of New York, New York Association of Realtors and 12 brokerage firms — is challenging guidance issued by the Department of State stipulating that landlords must pay fees for the rental brokers they hire. A temporary restraining order is preventing the guidance from going into effect until the courts say otherwise.

This marks the third time the case has been delayed. The DOS now has until Aug. 28 to formally respond to the lawsuit.

What we’re thinking about: Why is the governor publishing a pandemic memoir before the end of said pandemic? Send a note to


Residential: The priciest residential closing recorded Tuesday was for a condo at 220 Central Park South in Midtown at $49 million.

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Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was for a multifamily building at 261 Lenox Road in Flatbush at $14.8 million.


The largest new building filing of the day was for a 15,674-square-foot multifamily building at 1429 East Gun Hill Road in Pelham Gardens. Ferdinand Markushi of GF Gunhill Road LLC filed the permit application.


The priciest residential listing to hit the market was for a condo at 30 Park Place in Tribeca at $32.5 million. Douglas Elliman has the listing.
— Research by Orion Jones

A thing we’ve learned…

As of January, there were about 2,000 health clubs across New York, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. Of that sum, 900 were located in NYC. Thank you to Erik Engquist for passing this information along as we wait to see when the city will allow gyms and fitness centers to reopen.

Elsewhere in New York

— Rat complaints are on the rise! According to NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, rat sightings reported to 311 rose to 1,658 in June. There were fewer than 1,000 in April, Gothamist reports.

— NYC hotels must collect quarantine registration forms from guests traveling from high-risk states, Politico New York reports. “A lot of people haven’t gotten the message. A lot of people don’t necessarily take it as seriously as they need to,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

— Scooter-sharing company Revel is starting to require riders to take selfies to prove they are wearing a helmet, the New York Post reports. The company, which pulled all its scooters from NYC following three fatalities, has rolled out the news rules in Miami and Washington, D.C. Perhaps Revel is angling to return to NYC?