Thursday, July 28, 2005

Malanga Maligning?

Steve Malanga, who we have had disagreements with over Wal-Mart and box store zoning issues, had a very incisive piece in yesterday’s New York Sun concerning the “anti-businesses policies of the Bloomberg administration.” He has a particularly jaundiced view of the mayor’s tax policy, especially vis-à-vis commercial real estate (something we have commented on prior). As Malanga points out:

The rising property taxes have put the squeeze on landlords and homeowners and have channeled billions out of the private economy that would otherwise have been used for reinvestment
Of particular interest to us, given the fact that we are often driven by self-regard, is Malanga’s citing of our comments made before the City Council that:

"This is the worst environment for small business in New York City in 20 years."
Curiously, Malanga attributes to this quote to “head of a neighborhood retail group” while later on in the article he cites the head of the City’s Small Business Congress and refers to Sung Soo Kim by name.

Come on Steve! We’ve had our differences in the past and will continue to disagree in the future but don’t you think that it was kind of petty to disembowel us like that? The fact is that it is precisely the anti-small business in New York City that colors the debate over box stores like Wal-Mart. It is true that stores like this locate in tax-reduced industrial zones and are less affected by the tax and regulatory climate that impacts their competitors on the neighborhood commercial strips.

It is because of the lack of a level playing field that small businesses are so outraged by the Mayor’s cheerleading for mega-developments. It seems to us that only when it comes to the aggrandizement of large real estate developers does the Mayor really find his pro-business, economic growth voice.