My husband and I reside in Toronto, but we have a pied-à-terre on the Upper West Side because we appreciate the city’s activities and vibe. There are an estimated 89,000 folks like us who own but mainly reside in the city’s outskirts or beyond.
This week, the liberal Fiscal Policy Institute backed the thought of imposing a pied-à-terre tax on temporarily occupied residences worth far more than $five million. State Sen. Brad Hoylman says he’ll introduce legislation in Albany. City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has called the notion “interesting,” and Mayor de Blasio mentioned he’d look into it.
Hold on. Slow down. This is terrible economics that risks sending us down a slippery slope.
Fans of a pied-à-terre tax are pushing for the levy for the reason that, they recommend, out-of-towners contribute much less than they take. Nonresidents do not spend individual revenue taxes to the city, their logic goes, and “bid up” the value of true estate for absolutely everyone.
This has it precisely backwards. Nonresident owners like me pay plenty of house and sales taxes and do not cost the city something.