Pardon the interruption into inquiries about how Jeffrey Epstein got away with abusing so many girls for so long and who abetted his bad behavior. Here’s a side question:
Why on God’s gray pavement does the scene of Epstein’s alleged crimes, his $56 million Upper East Side mansion, have an effective property tax rate of 0.6 percent, when properties worth one-one hundredth that amount routinely get billed at double that effective rate?
Actually, we already know the answer: because, following no rhyme or reason, a tangled and inequitable system burdens some New York City homes and apartments with inflated bills while letting others, including the living quarters of some of the wealthiest people in the five boroughs, pay many thousands less than their fair share.
Because a man named Bill de Blasio who committed to end the “tale of two cities,” whose own pricey Park Slope house has a how-low-can-it-go effective tax rate of 0.2 percent, took his sweet time demanding a progress report from the commission he co-created with Council Speaker Corey Johnson to hold hearings on how to fix the crazy quilt system.
Because timid pols here in the city and in Albany are perfectly happy not to grab the third rail of reform themselves.
It ought to be a headline-grabbing scandal that the owner of the largest private residence in Manhattan ponies up a smaller share of his home’s value to the tax man than middle-class homeowners on Staten Island or renters in central Brooklyn do.
New York Daily News