A fairer city property tax system
Property taxes provide about a third of the City’s budget.
Middle-income homeowners carry most of that burden, while many people
in "high rent" New York neighborhoods are not paying their fair share.
This has got to change.
Ever wonder why some buildings in Manhattan just sit
there abandoned for year after year? It’s because the owners only have
to pay a very small tax on the land on which the building stands. They
can hang onto to that useless eyesore indefinitely, until conditions
are just right for them to build something new on the property.
That’s great for real estate speculators—--and bad for
just about everybody else.
New York City should adopt "100% valuation" on these
kinds of properties, demanding a much higher tax. This gives owners
plenty of incentive to build on that property rather than just let it
sit there. If they do choose not to develop it, at least they’ll be
providing money that can be used for essential city services.