City Comptroller Brad Lander has come up with a blueprint to tax, tax and tax some more to “make up” for the end of federal COVID cash — which was never supposed to lead to permanently higher city spending, but what else can a power-hungry pinko do, except come up with new ways to kill Gotham’s golden goose?
Oh, and slam the city’s middle class, too.
City spending has soared stratospherically past the rate of inflation since Bill de Blasio took over as mayor, and the feds’ “pandemic relief” took the party to a whole new level.
The city Department of Education is now spending an unbelievable $37,000 per student, though how much of it actually benefits the kids is a real question.
(Not much, suggest the test scores.)
Brad’s big idea: Party on, dudes!
He claims the city can score a cool $1 billion a year via his plans to 1) tax the rich more, 2) gouge the Garden and 3) push property taxes higher still.
Never mind that income-tax hikes on top earners (who already pay a nation-leading total rate if they live in the city) plus a “pied-à-terre surcharge” (make them bleed just for visiting!) would only add to the incentives to leave the Big Apple permanently in the rearview mirror and never give it a dime in taxes (or any other outlays, like running a business or even a wealth-dropping night on the town) again.
Wealthy New Yorkers who fled in 2020 took $21 billion in income with them.
You might want to visit Palm Beach, Mr. Comptroller: New York exiles have already transformed it into a surprisingly familiar spot: It’s got a Palm, plus its own La Goulue, Le Bilboquet, Maxwell’s Plum, Swifty’s, Adrienne’s Pizzabar, Harry’s . . .
And never mind that this would require Albany’s OK — when the state budget is even more dependent on Wall Street than the city’s.
The Legislature would also have to approve “his” (stolen from other progs) idea to end the Madison Square Garden abatement.
Since everybody hates the Dolans, that’s a sure vote-winner — which is all Lander really cares about, anyway.
As for property taxes: Sure, they need reform — but if Lander figures to hike revenue that way, he’d just be boosting the hit on those who’re now “undertaxed” to match what the “overtaxed” have to pay.
Middle class (especially anyone in a condo or coop), watch out.
The real “plan” here is to challenge Mayor Eric Adams in the 2025 Democratic primary, period.
Right now, polling suggests Lander would get crushed, nearly 3-1.
So expect Brad to be a very busy bee the next two years, offering more pie-in-the-sky schemes that would kill the city but have a chance of winning him some votes.