Rent Tax

The Story

Most businesses in Manhattan south of 96th Street are required to pay a 6 percent commercial rent tax (CRT). The CRT is often cited as one of the reasons why businesses leave New York, or choose not to locate here in the first place.  The rent tax was phased out of the rest of the city in the 1990s, and the time is past due for all tenants to get the same relief.  

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Only in NY: Such taxes are found almost nowhere else in the country. Read more

  2. Tax Included: Because landlords pass property tax costs on to tenants, the CRT amounts to a tax on a tax. Read more.  

  3. Route to Reform: The CRT falls on 6,700 businesses that pay annual rent of $250,000 or more–a threshold that some would like to see doubled. Read more.

“It favors businesses in the outer boroughs [at the expense of] businesses in Manhattan. And it's also a double tax because businesses pay property tax, and on top of property tax they have to pay commercial rent tax.”

Jacques Jiha, Finance Commissioner

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

City Taxes: Where to Start Cutting By Stephan Kagann (Winter 1993)

“New York City’s singularly high tax burden is the greatest peril to its economy: As I pointed out in the Autumn 1992 issue of the City Journal, each $100 million in new taxes levied during a recession leads to the loss of some 11,400 private-sector jobs, as businesses cut back or leave the city to escape the growing tax burden.”

And in other news...

“A reporter and a photographer visited homeless encampments across New York City, interviewing dozens of people, from teenagers to those in their 70s. Some had serious medical conditions; one woman was pregnant. They spoke of job losses, mental health issues, substance abuse and problems with the city shelter system that drove them to the streets.”