NYC lost $1.2B in real estate tax revenue

Sales of commercial and residential properties down 49% this year

REBNY's James Whelan (Photos via iStock; Whelan by Anuja Shakya)
REBNY's James Whelan (Photos via iStock; Whelan by Anuja Shakya)

The sputtering real estate market took a $1.2 billion bite out of New York City’s revenue this year so far, a report by the Real Estate Board of New York found.

Sales of commercial and residential properties are down 49 percent for the year through November, Bloomberg reported. That in turn has led to a crippling decline in revenue for New York City, which depends on real estate taxes to keep the lights on. Revenue was down 42 percent for the first 11 months of the year compared with the same period last year, according to REBNY’s analysis.

Tax revenue makes up 53 percent of the city’s operating budget, although property taxes, which have remained steady, bring in far more money than real estate transfer taxes.

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The announcement of a vaccine has provided a glimmer of hope that New York’s economic engine will restart in the long-term. For now, with a renewed pause on indoor dining which started this week, as well as the possibility of another lockdown, the real estate market will likely continue to suffer — and drain the city’s coffers.

“New York’s economic crisis grows,” said James Whelan, the group’s president, in a statement. “From rental assistance and unemployment benefits to state and local aid, New York needs federal relief.”

Congress has yet to finalize another federal stimulus deal, though the House and Senate remain in negotiations as of Friday morning.

[Bloomberg] — Georgia Kromrei