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May 6th, 2021

Andrew Yang Announces Plan to Raise Nearly $1 Billion in New Revenue, Spur Housing Development on Wasted NYC Land

**RELEASE** May 6th, 2021

New York, NYToday, Andrew Yang stood along the East River outside a massive, wasted parcel of land to announce his plan to generate $900 million in new revenue for the City and incentivize development on large vacant lots across the five boroughs.

As Mayor, Andrew Yang will direct the Department of Finance to raise the assessment on vacant land that currently sits wasted and undeveloped. 80% of vacant land in New York City is in Class 4, a category which captures most commercial vacant land -- land that is currently valued and taxed at less than 20% of sales-price based market value on average.  A Yang administration will unilaterally bring these values up to their sales-price based on market value. Adjusting class shares and increasing the property tax levy accordingly would raise about $900 million in City property tax revenue.  Said Andrew Yang, “Land is New York’s most precious resource, yet there are thousands of lots across the City sitting wasted and undeveloped because there’s effectively a disincentive to build. As mayor, I'm committed to making it easier to build in New York City. Raising the assessment on vacant land to its market value would spur housing and economic development while generating hundreds of millions of dollars in much-needed revenue for the City. ” Said City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, “This is exactly the kind of innovative and proactive policy we need to address the issues in front of us. At a time when New York is failing to produce the amount of housing needed to close the affordability gap, there is far too much vacant land and properties sitting wasted across our city that is begging to be remodeled or built on. This proposal will not only stimulate housing development, but also generate almost $1 billion a year in new revenue -- money that we sorely need to fund programs like cash relief for the poorest New Yorkers.” "This is a pragmatic step the mayor can take without Albany's help that would responsibly stimulate development and discourage warehousing at the expense of housing the City desperately needs," said former NYS Housing Commissioner Jamie Rubin.

Andrew Yang announces 1 billion dollar plan with Carlos Menchaca

Key Takeaways:

  • There are 16,000 privately-owned, vacant parcels in New York City with a buildable lot size greater than 1,000 square feet. Between 2009 and 2018, the city’s population grew by 500,000, but the number of housing units only increased by 100,000.
  • The wasted land assessment would target parcels over 1,000 square feet, including several up and down the East River owned by private investors that were already permitted for construction before the 2008 financial crisis that have since fallen by the  wayside.
  • No New Yorker would see higher taxes on their apartment, home, office, or small business as a result of the move, and community gardens would also be exempt.

Andrew Yang also released other proposals to raise revenue for the City, available here.


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