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Tax Surcharges for Non Primary Residences

Here's a good idea. New York should do this, Chicago should do this, everywhere should. Tax non-primary residences at a higher rate. Opponents argue that it would "weaken the property market". I say good! Housing is too expensive. Higher property values are a bad thing if they don't bring more true value (i.e. better jobs, less dependence on autos, better education, etc.) with it.

Developers will react to this tax, but it's most likely they'll start building things that are a better fit for average households. And those pencil apartments? Likely they'll become cheaper. More will be purchased by residents. Those residents will still likely be very wealthy, but if they are true residents they would have competed for housing somewhere else in New York, so this will reduce the rates (if ever so slightly) of other property.

The real value however is putting developers focus back on building housing for a broader segment. If zoning is not so egregious as to prevent this then you'd see a more affordable New York than the alternative. A few extra tax dollars wouldn't hurt either.

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