Monday, March 26, 2007

Rent Break Not in Store

As the NY Sun reports, yesterday at City Hall a couple of state lawmakers joined with Speaker Quinn in proposing that the city create a "renters tax credit program," designed to give relief to tenants so that property owners are not the only ones benefiting from the mayor's tax breaks. As Quinn told the Daily News, "We need to recognize that property taxes are not just paid by home owners and condo owners..."

What is interesting here is that the Quinn observation, certainly true as far as it goes, avoids the fact that the class of folks who got burned worst by the record increases of 2002 are the city's neighborhood store keepers whose lease all contain pass-throughs for any commercial tax increases. The city hall news conference, however, was packed with tenant advocates and devoid of any beleaguered retailers. The symbolism of their absence speaks volumes about the outlook and priorities of the council leadership.