How nice to see that at least one Democrat — former Gov. David Paterson — understands the mistreatment of developers and businesses in New York.
Paterson last week called their industry the “backbone of the city’s revenue” and “essential to the city’s reputation, particularly the taxes they pay.”
He warned, “They’re really going to find out how bad it can be when they move away.”
As a matter of fact. Progressives in Albany and City Hall treat these groups like money men to be squeezed — and, Paterson notes, these key players in the local economy “recognize that.”
He’s right about the way they’re treated: First, property owners are being smothered by rising taxes and a barrage of laws that make it impossible to turn a profit.
Property taxes, along with water and sewage charges, now account for 30-40% of a building’s cost.
Electricity bills are astronomical and continue to rise.
Local law 97 requires apartment buildings to reduce carbon emissions through costly heating system upgrades.
Progressives have also constantly sought new ways to make buildings more difficult to own and operate, which, worse, has threatened the city’s housing stock.
Last year they phased out a key tax break known as 421-a with no plan to replace it.
Without the pause, developers cannot afford to build units at lower rents than the market price.
“If Albany doesn’t act, New Yorkers will lose affordable housing,” said Mayor Eric Adams.
The progs have also pushed their (incorrectly dubbed) “Good Cause Eviction” law that would make it nearly impossible for landlords to evict nationwide to ease the burden on tenants and would effectively limit how much they can increase their rent – essentially leading to general rent control.
The problem is that real estate companies and other businesses have options.
You can find greener pastures elsewhere, as Paterson noted: The legislature “has no control over whether [companies] go or not, and they seem to treat certain members of the population almost as if they are expendable.”
You are not. “We need them to be here. We need affordable and luxurious housing.”
If lawmakers maintain hostility, the city could face “situations like those of the ’70s, where the rampant crime and housing unaffordability led to a truly deplorable state throughout the city,” Paterson warned.
New York has come a long way since those dark days.
How tragic it would be if all this progress went unused.