From the NY Post:
Thanks to Albany, luxury developers may dodge property taxes in exchange for building — or at least funding — some affordable housing. But with $1 billion a year in uncollected taxes, are these really good deals for NYC?
At 90 stories, it will be tallest residential tower in the city. With sweeping views of downtown Manhattan and Central Park, the $1.5 billion building is one of the most coveted addresses; a 14,000-square-foot penthouse already sold for more than $90 million.
One57 has another perk as well — its residents stand to pay no property taxes for 10 years.
The sweetheart deal for One57 developer Extell, tucked into a larger housing bill at the behest of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and signed by Gov. Cuomo, is under investigation by Albany’s anti-corruption Moreland Commission.
It’s also drawn renewed scrutiny to the 421-a tax exemption, a controversial program that dates back to the 1970s when the city began offering breaks to spur residential development.
The city lost out on a whopping $1 billion in property taxes last fiscal year under the 421-a program.
In exchange, the developers are suppose to set aside 20% of their units for affordable housing or fund affordable housing in another way.
But is the amount of money New York loses to these exemptions, which could go to programs that benefit the entire city, really offset by a relatively small number of apartments with lower rents?
Critics say no.
“Our city spends $1 billion every year on these kinds of subsidies, with little affordable housing to show for it. These valuable public resources should be used to keep New York affordable for middle- and low-income New Yorkers,” said Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander.
Affordable housing is the excuse politicians use to get away with rewarding their developer friends lucrative tax breaks. It's a complete joke. Everyone knows it. But no one will stop it. The way to keep housing affordable is to stop upzoning the crap out of everything.