NYC can thank real estate for more than one-third of all municipal tax revenue, says a new report from the industry's top trade association.
The Real Estate Board of New York says it sometimes feels overshadowed by Wall Street, media and entertainment and wants to highlight the massive impact of real estate development.
"You don't realize when you see an office building all of the tax revenue that it generates and what it pays for," says REBNY spokesman Jamie McShane.
Real estate generated 38% of the tax revenue in 2012 for a total of $15.4 billion, according to the study, called "The Invisible Engine." That's enough cash to pay the salary of every teacher, police officer and firefighter in the city. The figure includes income taxes of industry workers.
REBNY says it commissioned the study before Mayor Bill de Blasio took office, but one affordable housing advocate says the timing of its release may be related to the new City Hall.
"I suspect that they decided to release the data because they expect to receive heightened pressure from the de Blasio administration and about including affordable housing in real estate development across the city," says Victor Bach, analyst at the Community Service Society.