Property Owners Paying Extra for Petunias? Not In This Town

If you have nice flowers in your neighborhood, or maybe some really spectacular shade trees, should you have to pay for the privilege?

You might think that you actually do pay for the flowers in a local park, or the trees that line your block. After all, you pay taxes for the upkeep of parks and community gardens and shade trees (if you don’t pay taxes, well, April 15 is upon us).

Some people, however, think that flowers are an amenity that requires additional fees from already heavily taxed property owners. Two advocacy groups, the Friends of the High Line and the Friends of Hudson River Park, are thinking about creating special tax districts–like business improvement districts–to support the two parks. They apparently believe that property owners should pay extra for a room with a view of a tulip.

One property near the High Line has bought into the idea. A new condominium will require owners to pay special fees for the upkeep of the park. What next? Will condo owners with great views of the Hudson River be assessed a sunset fee? Should penthouse dwellers be charged extra for blue skies?

New Yorkers pay high taxes for (hopefully) good services, including the maintenance of a wonderful park system. It’s insane to ask, or demand, that property owners pay even more just because they live near some nice green space.