New York has a problem: buying an apartment here is way too expensive. Mayor de Blasio has grouchily ambled along with a solution: make apartments even more expensive.
That makes no sense. But it’s the principle of the mayor’s proposed “mansion tax.” Last week, de Blasio went up to Albany to push his idea: forcing home buyers to pay a “paltry” 2.5 percent tax on the value of purchases above $2 million.
The tax would raise $336 million a year. That would be enough to subsidize 25,000 poorer elderly folks’ rent by a little more than $1,000 a month, as the mayor told attendees at two senior centers last week.
Helping seniors is a fine idea. But the good news is that New York will take in $57 billion from existing taxes in the fiscal year that starts in July, a nearly $2.2 billion increase from the current year. If it’s so important, the mayor can find a way to pay for it with all of that extra money.
But no. That’s boring. “We can do something different and better,” de Blasio told Upper East Side seniors Thursday. “People who can afford a $2 million home . . . can afford to give a little more.”
Inconveniently for the mayor, New York already thought of this “different and better” idea . . . in 1959.
Anyone selling a home whose value is above $1 million already pays.....
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