Lost real estate deals cost NYC $755M

Real estate sales in New York City are plummeting, and so is the tax revenue that’s generated with every transaction.

Sales of commercial and residential properties — everything from office buildings to hotels and individual condos — are down 45% this year through September, according to a report last week by the Real Estate Board of New York.

That’s resulted in $755 million less in city and state tax revenue compared with the first nine months of last year, the trade group said. The lost revenue stems from transfer and mansion taxes that are levied on real estate trades. The tally doesn’t include taxes generated from mortgage recording, suggesting that the hit to public coffers is even higher.

Property sales have tumbled since March when the city and state shut down to slow the spread of covid-19. Midtown offices are still largely empty while employees work from home, apartment landlords are struggling to find tenants, and the sales market for co-ops and condos is moribund.

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Last year, levies from real estate sales generated $31.9 billion for the city’s operating budget, accounting for 53% of its total tax revenue, according to the report. That’s more than double the next-closest contributor, personal income tax, at 21%.

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