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Councilman to Albany pols: $1M homes are not mansions

A Brooklyn pol is calling on Albany legislators to double the threshold on a state-imposed “mansion tax” for luxury homes, saying $1 million won’t buy you a mansion in New York, let alone a two-family house.

Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) said he plans to introduce a non-binding resolution next week demanding Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature amend the property-sales tax that has been on the books for more than three decades, so it applies to homeowners who purchase properties for $2 million and up, rather than the current $1 million threshold.

“Back in 1989, when this tax was first created, perhaps a million bucks could get you a mansion, but it’s 2020 and now you’re lucky if a million bucks gets you an attached fixer-upper,” said Brannan.

“Look, it’s hard enough for first-time home buyers to scrape together the money to buy something without this comical and ridiculous ‘mansion’ tax. That’s why I’m calling for it to be changed. We need to make it easier for people to buy homes — not harder.”

The current median listing price for a Manhattan home is $1.52 million and $899,000 in Brooklyn, according to Zillow.com.

Albany pols amended the tax last April by creating a new scale of levies paid by the buyer, which begins at 1 percent, rises to 1.25 percent for homes that sell for between $2 million and $3 million, and reaches as high as 4.15 percent on deals worth $25 million or more. The previous regulations imposed a flat 1 percent rate on all sales running at least $1 million.

The changes are expected to raise another $365 million in funds to help support $5 billion in financing towards Metropolitan Transportation Authority upgrades. However, Brannan’s plan would not affect the new MTA pot because that only draws funds from commercial property sales of $2 million-plus and residential sales of $3 million or more.

Cuomo spokeswoman Caitlin Girouard said, “We already passed a progressive mansion tax in last year’s [state] budget, and if [Brannan’s plan] makes its way to the Legislature we will review it.”

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s office declined comment, but a spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio said his office would review the resolution when introduced.

De Blasio backs an additional 2.5 percent “mansion tax” on homes selling for $2 million and over with money raised going towards affordable housing for seniors. He has been unable to convince state legislators to back his proposal.

The state mansion tax dates back to 1989, when it was signed into law by Cuomo’s late father, Gov. Mario Cuomo, during an era that preceded the boom in Big Apple residential real estate.

Published by The New York Post

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