Mayor de Blasio is on a tear to push his proposed mansion tax through the state legislature. The Democrat held a presser today in front of hyped home to the rich, 432 Park Avenue, to raise awareness about how the tax could have benefited New York City’s low-income seniors had the state’s Republican-controlled senate already approved the measure.
According to a press release from the city, if the proposed 2.5 percent tax on residential sales over $2 million had been passed, the city would have generated $30.2 million to support housing for low-income seniors from 432 Park Avenue’s sales since December 2015.
“We’re in a housing crisis pushing seniors out of their neighborhoods. We can’t afford more missed opportunities like this. Sales at this one building alone would have kept 2,000 seniors in their homes,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement. “With tax cuts for the wealthy coming from Washington, New York needs to stand up.” The mansion tax proposal, now pending in Albany, is expected to generate $336 million annually, or enough to support 25,000 seniors in NYC with rental assistance up to $1,300/month.
The funds generated by the mansion tax would go to eligible seniors earning less than $50,000/year, The Real Deal notes. There have, however, been concerns over the tax’s $2 million threshold. “With $2 million, you can get a nice two-bedroom,” Joan Kagan, sales manager at real estate firm TripleMint, told the Wall Street Journal in January. “When you think about a family with children who wants to stay here for a little bit of time, they’re the ones that are going to be affected by the tax.”
Deputy Mayor for Housing and Urban Development Alicia Glen disputed the notion to WSJ that the 2.5 percent tax would oppress young families, citing at the time that only 8.5 percent of sales throughout the city topped $2 million in 2016.
The proposed mansion tax isn’t the only tax out there for high earners and spenders. The state’s millionaire’s tax, due to expire this year, requires those earning more than $2.1 million annually to pay a tax of 8.82 percent, rather than the 6.85 percent tax for those raking in more than $40,000 annually.
While Governor Andrew Cuomo has come out in support of the continuance of the state’s millionaire’s tax—he worked a three-year extension into the state’s budget—he remains mum on the city’s proposed mansion tax.