From the Daily News:
Yankees star Alex Rodriguez will pay virtually no property tax for a $6 million apartment he is buying on the upper West Side.
Rodriguez will be billed around $1,200 this year in real estate tax for his 3,000-square-foot, five-bedroom penthouse with spectacular views of the Hudson River.
...how is it possible that tens of thousands of ordinary city residents struggle each year with soaring tax bills for their co-ops, condos and homes, while the Yankees' $33-million-a-year star gets to pay next to nothing?
Well, Rodriguez and many other well-heeled New Yorkers have learned to take advantage of a little-known tax abatement program that has existed for decades.
The politicians and real estate insiders call it the "421A" program. It grants as much as a 98% percent tax abatement for up to 25 years to condo owners in newly built housing.
The bulk of the 421A benefit has gone to luxury housing in Manhattan, though a few reforms by City Hall and the Legislature in 2007 at least required developers to build 20% affordable housing to qualify for the tax abatement.
This year alone, the 421A program will cost our city more than $900 million in lost revenues, the Independent Budget Office says.
That's money that could prevent layoffs of firefighters and teachers. That could fund senior citizen centers and pay for after-school programs.
You haven't heard much about this, but the 421A program ended in December for any new construction. But the city's powerful real estate industry is determined to get it renewed and even get it expanded. Its lobbyists are working feverishly behind the scenes to pressure Council and lawmakers in Albany.