Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
It comes from having lived in the US, where the arguments about the poor are usually excuses for helping the rich. The comment I made usually led to a change of subject (most U.S. libertartians being hopeless when faced with a comment that doesn't fit in their talking points).

SInce you are obviously not one of these, I basically agree with you, except that you would be exempting the poor person from tax increases (which are partly needed to pay increased salaries to city workers etc.) so that  their heirs can cash in. One solution might be to allow people below a certain income level to postpone tax increases until selling, and then pay back taxes at that point.

Incidentally, I know people in NY (with strong rent control on older buildings) who have invested quite a bit in improving their own apartments. But this may be due to the combination of rent control with lack of rent control on newer apartments, so that they know they'll probably live in the apartment for the rest of their lives.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jan 20th, 2012 at 02:05:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm confused about the bit on tax increases. Do tenants in NY directly pay property taxes?

I paid the property taxes on my building, not the tenants. Rent control did not limit property tax increases in Ontario. I believe that if you lease a property you typically pay property taxes, but not for renting.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Sat Jan 21st, 2012 at 09:24:02 AM EST
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Good question. I think owners pay property taxes in most places (the only exception I can think of is Israel), and they certainly do in NY. But I would imagine that in the annual ritual of deciding what the allowed rent increases are, property tax increases would be taken into account.

Maybe property taxes on rent-controlled buildings simply doesn't go up much? After all, the "value" (in the normal, vague sense, not the fashion of using it as a synonym for price) of a rent-controlled building, in the sense of the income stream it provides, doesn't go up much, whatever happens to its price. So maybe the law has two ways of determining value, either based on purchase price, or based on rental value.

There was (is?) something similar with faculty housing. NYU attracts potential faculty with inexpensive housing. Back in the 80s, tax reform meant that the difference between the rent and market value (a lot...) would become taxable income. But their lobbyists managed to insert into the law an alternative way of calculating the size of the subsidy, namely the difference between the university price and similar, non-subsidied apartments in the same building. They just happened to have a few rent-controlled tenants from before they bought the building that they hadn't managed to evict.....

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Jan 22nd, 2012 at 11:39:44 AM EST
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