Why Billionaires Don’t Pay Property Taxes in New York – CityLab

Image One57

When a duplex condominium in New York’s new One57 supertall tower sold for $100.5 million dollars in January, it shattered all records. This condo is the most expensive single-family residence ever sold in Manhattan. Yet, at the rate that luxe residential towers are coming online in the part of Midtown known as Billionaires Row—consider the $91.5 million sale just last montheven that mondo One57 record may not last for long.

Steamy eight- or nine-figure sales were always the dream of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “If we can find a bunch of billionaires around the world to move here, that would be a godsend,” then-Mayor Bloomberg told The New York Times back in 2013. “Because that’s where the revenue comes to take care of everybody else.”

Construction is now underway on Nordstrom Tower, a supertall residential tower designed by Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill, the architects behind the Burj Khalifa. When the building is finished, the Nordstrom Tower will be the tallest residential building in the world. The one-percenters who can afford its lofts will be treated to some of the best views the United States has to offer.

And that’s just one of several buildings coming up that caters to the world’s wealthiest. So by Bloomberg’s logic, Gotham is saved, right? Not quite.

A rendering of the Nordstrom Tower, currently under construction at 217 W. 57th Street. (Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)

Thanks to the structure of city and state tax codes, the billionaires buying pieds-à-terre in the sky over Central Park are hardly paying property taxes at all. The values of these new condos are being assessed at just a fraction of what they’re worth. And buyers are paying only a fraction of that fraction in property taxes.

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