War on City Businesses

The Story

Read more at gothamist.com
Photo: JJFarquitectos/iStock

Now that state law has expanded residential rent control, city officials want to impose rent regulations on commercial property, too. Arguing that property owners are gouging their commercial tenants and warehousing vacant storefronts, council members want to regulate the market and establish limits for permissible rent increases. Seventy-five years of residential rent control have only worsened the city’s housing crunch; imposing commercial rent control will yield no better results.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Retail: Officials claim that retail businesses are closing as a result of excessively high rents, but in fact, retailers across the nation are facing serious challenges from Internet commerce. Read more

  2. Burden: Rents have peaked in New York, but property taxes constitute a large and growing burden on business owners. Read more.

  3. Myth: It is widely but erroneously believed that property owners earn a tax deduction by keeping their storefronts empty. Read more.

“While rent is a factor, what we hear most from struggling business owners are complaints about bureaucracy and unresponsive city agencies, crippling property tax assessment increases, over regulation, traffic, and aggressive enforcement."

Jessica Lappin, President, Alliance for Downtown New York

Twitter Take


Stay tuned for video and highlights from our special event on RENT REGULATION
in New York City—November 20, 2019.

The Past is Present

Taking Rent Control to Court By L. Gordon Crovitz (Spring, 1991)

“New York City’s rent regulations have long seemed invulnerable, not only in the Legislature but in the courts, which have been turning down legal challenges to rent control since the 1920s.”

And in other news...

“The Metropolitan Transportation Authority estimates it will cost $250 million over the next four years to hire 500 police officers it recently pledged to add to patrol commuter trains, buses and the subway system.”