Hoylman’s “Manhattan Mom & Pop Tax Relief Act,” Suspending Unfair Tax On Manhattan Small Biz

Today, the New York State Senate’s Cities 1 Committee passed the Manhattan Mom & Pop Tax Relief Act (S.1548/A.3070) sponsored by State Senator Brad Hoylman (D/WF-Manhattan) and Assemblymember Harvey Epstein (D/WFP-Manhattan), legislation that will suspend collection of the Commercial Rent Tax (CRT) from small businesses with a base rent of less than $1 million per year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The CRT is charged only to commercial tenants in Manhattan south of 96th Street and is a 3.9% effective tax on rent paid.

The CRT is charged only to commercial tenants in Manhattan south of 96th Street and is a 3.9% effective tax on rent paid.

The bill would provide additional relief to small businesses that have faced government-ordered restrictions on businesses to combat the spread of COVID-19.

This bill serves as companion legislation to a local bill introduced by Council Member Keith Powers (Manhattan-D) to similarly suspend the CRT during the pandemic.

“It’s unfair that only businesses south of 96th Street are forced to pay the Commercial Rent Tax, so we’re throwing approximately 5,500 small businesses a lifeline with the Manhattan Mom & Pop Tax Relief Act, which suspends the collection of this tax during the pandemic. We need to do whatever we can to support Mom & Pop shops who struggled for the last 13 months as our city reopens.”

Senator Hoylman said: “It’s unfair that only businesses south of 96th Street are forced to pay the Commercial Rent Tax, so we’re throwing approximately 5,500 small businesses a lifeline with the Manhattan Mom & Pop Tax Relief Act, which suspends the collection of this tax during the pandemic. We need to do whatever we can to support Mom & Pop shops who struggled for the last 13 months as our city reopens.”

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According to Opportunity Insights, a Harvard University-based non-profit, 41.7% of New York City’s small businesses closed their doors between January 1, 2020, to April 14, 2021.

Approximately 5,500 Manhattan businesses would benefit from the suspension of the CRT as proposed in this legislation.

Temporarily rolling back the Commercial Rent Tax for thousands of primarily small businesses will help alleviate the financial burden placed on small business owners who occupy physical locations in Manhattan, at a time when relief is desperately needed.

Photo credit: East Harlem’s Michelle Cruz.

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