De Blasio Tax Hike Aims to Turn Speculators into Developers

A plan to eliminate a tax loophole on more than 10,500 vacant lots across New York City could help contribute to the mayor-elect's affordable housing goals.

Bill de Blasio is seeking to implement an idea he introduced in April: to increase the assessed value of vacant residential properties in order to "force owners either to put it to use and build housing or to sell it to those who will," reports Joe Anuta. "By increasing the cost of inactivity to prohibitive levels, the hope is that more land can be put back into use and much-needed housing can be built."

"It would drive the price of land down and increase development, to the extent the tax increases are significant," predicted Robert Knakal, chairman of Massey Knakal Realty Services. "The more expensive [vacant land becomes to hold], the less of it you will get—that's Economics 101."

"Some observers believe, however, that such a move carries big risks," notes Anuta. "For openers, it could discourage developers from patiently assembling large blocks of property needed for big developments by effectively driving up their property costs. That could, perversely enough, limit new housing production."

Full Story: De Blasio tells lot owners to put up or pay up

Comments

Build Your Own Paper Block City

Urban Fold is an all-inclusive kit that allows anyone to build the city of their dreams with a few simple folds.
$24.95
building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00