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Councilman Garodnick Now Wants to Nix Commercial Rent Tax

New York

Manhattan Councilman Dan Garodnick's view on the controversial commercial rent tax is evolving. In May he proposed a bill that would raise the rent threshold for the tax to $500k and exempt small businesses. But now he says that he agrees with Finance Commissioner Jacques Jiha that the rent tax, loathed by the business community, should simply be eliminated, Crain's reports. Problem is, it's not that simple. Killing off the tax would be costly, shaving off nearly 1% of the city's $78.5B annual budget. Garodnick's bill would make up for revenue lost by raising the rent threshold by raising taxes on businesses that pay over $3M in rent annually. Another possibility is to raise property taxes on ultra-luxe apartment owners. Much debate clearly lies ahead, as Mayor Bill de Blasio, Jacques and the City Council have pledged to revamp NYC's unpopular tax code. [Crain's]