Outside of 432 Park Avenue, Mayor de Blasio held a press conference on Thursday to discuss his mansion tax. The proposal calls for a 2.5 percent surcharge on sales of city homes valued at $2 million or more, which would in turn fund affordable housing for 25,000 senior citizens. De Blasio fittingly positioned himself outside 432 Park because, according to the city, if the proposed tax had been passed, this residence alone would have generated $30.2 million since 2015 in support of housing for low-income seniors. “And that would have been based–and this is stunning to me–on the sale of just 62 condominiums. But it would have meant enough money to subsidize affordable housing for 2,000 seniors,” he said.
The mansion tax proposal is expected to generate $336 million per year, which is enough to provide 25,000 seniors with rental assistance up to $1,300 per month. De Blasio says Albany needs to act now because of Trump’s impending plan to cut taxes for the wealthy. While he continues to push his proposed tax through the legislature, state Republicans mainly remain unwilling to pass it. Similarly, in 2015, the mayor asked for the plan to be combined with negotiations of the 421-a tax abatement, to tax sales over $1.75 million at one percent and sales over $5 million at 1.5 percent. State lawmakers rejected his idea. Plus, as the
Plus, as the WSJ reported, the mayor’s proposal politically competes with Governor Cuomo’s millionaire tax, set to expire this year, which requires those earning more than $2.1 million per year to pay a tax of 8.82 percent, higher than the 6.85 percent tax for those making more than $40,000 annually.
Supporting NYC’s seniors remains a priority for the mayor and other city officials. In addition to making senior housing a vital part of the mayor’s affordable housing initiative, City Comptroller Scott Stringer just released a report detailing a blueprint on ways the city should invest in senior-friendly programs. Whether or not the mansion tax proposal gets passed, Stringer laid out ways to support seniors in addition to housing, with investments in public transportation and senior centers.
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