New York Times: Luxe Builders Chase Dreams of Property Tax Exemptions

Liz Krueger

June 27, 2013

Sen. Krueger spoke with New York Times columnist Michael Powell for this piece on abuses in the 421-a tax credit program:

State Senator Liz Krueger watches such unneeded tax subsidies — for energy, insurance, tobacco and luxury development — slip like barges down a darkened canal. She notes that the housing bill “was held hostage so a few well-connected developers could rob taxpayers to the tune of millions.”

Perhaps we should admire the gumption of our developers. They often argue that without tax breaks, the city would be a desert.

But in this case, the property tax exemption arrives as the Extell tower, a dull sheath of blue glass that spirals above the skyline like an exercise in ego architecture, is near completion. Mr. Barnett has been blessed with a retroactive tax break. “A tax incentive given retroactively is the stupidest thing in the world,” notes Senator Krueger, with a tone suggesting that she’s becoming expert in the stupidest things.