A Tax Break That Is a Boon to Housing

One glaring omission from the Times’ series that focused on the Time Warner Center is the total real estate taxes that it pays -- more than $57 million annually. That $57 million would cover the annual salaries of 475 police officers or 672 firefighters. Every year, those taxes could pay the entire cost for public library services in all of Manhattan. These taxes fund services that all New Yorkers need and expect and has become a significant boon in revenue compared to the old hulking New York Coliseum which had occupied the site.

Careful readers of the Times’ series would be forgiven if they missed another important point, that the Time Warner Center did not receive a 421a tax exemption. The 421a partial tax-exemption program, set to expire later this year, was created to encourage housing construction. Since the mid-1980s the program has been evolving as an integral tool for the production of affordable housing.

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