New York City’s efforts to fire what it calls the “heroin teacher” received a setback this week that has Mayor Michael Bloomberg fuming.
DOMA IN A COMA
While the Supreme Court decision went Edie Windsor’s way Wednesday, there are still a few lingering questions.
Can Ms. Windsor get the $363,053 she paid for her widow’s estate back?
The IRS isn’t saying. But according to her attorney’s law firm, the answer is yes.
“Every penny,” Roberta Kaplan, who has represented Read More
In a city where many residents’ wealth is wrapped up in their real estate, the ability to pass on a co-op, condo or townhouse to a surviving spouse without paying taxes is a significant benefit. But until this morning, even in New York—one of the handful of states in the country where same-sex marriage is legal—same-sex spouses were not exempted from federal inheritance taxes. Taxes that, when applied to a couple’s lifetime savings and particularly their home, could significantly reduce the value of an estate for the surviving spouse.
Now, in the wake of the Supreme Court decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act, surviving same-sex spouses will be able to inherit real estate and other property tax-free—one of the federal benefits that have long been extended to other married couples.
Today the United States Supreme Court issued a monumental pair of rulings to expand gay rights, deeming section three of the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law denying federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples, unconstitutional.
The justices found in favor of Edie Windsor, who sued the federal government for failing Read More
Edie Windsor is used to waiting. Ms. Windsor was engaged for 40 years before her 2007 Canadian wedding to Thea Spyer. The pair waited 30 years to apply to be domestic partners, under a New York City law introduced in the 1990s. Now Ms. Windsor, 83, is waiting for the Supreme Court to decide whether to hear her challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act, with a decision expected Monday morning.
Ms. Windsor is requesting a refund of the $363,053 in estate taxes that she paid to the IRS after being left all of Ms. Spyer’s property when she died in 2009. Had the pair been classified as married, Ms. Windsor would have been able to inherit the property shielded from taxes. Instead she was classified as if they had no relation to each other.
Ms. Windsor’s case has the potential to help strike down the definition of marriage in the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, where it is defined as between a man and a woman. If she wins, the federal government will recognize the marriages of same sex couples in states where gay marriage is already legal, resolving a currently conflicting definition between the federal and state governments. The district court decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the case challenging California’s Proposition 8 that prohibited gay marriage, declared a broader right to gay marriage, but SCOTUS is viewed as more likely to take Windsor.
“I’ve been asked, how would I feel if we win?” said Windsor. “What would that mean? It would mean everything. The beginning of the end of the stigma.”
James D. Harmon Jr. may have taken his battle against rent control as far as it could legally go, but that doesn’t mean that the owner of the beautiful Upper West Side brownstone has abandoned the fight.
Mr. Harmon is now considering the only sure way to escape the system he despises: selling his house, the New York Post reports.
Mr. Harmon, who grew up in the brownstone and lives in an apartment there with his wife Jeanne, has spent years waging a legal campaign against his three rent-regulated tenants (he also has three market-rate tenants), who pay about $1,000 a month and have lived in the building since the 1970s, when they signed leases with Mr. Harmon’s grandfather.
Yet more good news for tenants living in rent-regulated apartments! Rents will will still be going up, of course—don’t be crazy, the rent always goes up—but this year could see the lowest hike in a decade.
The Rent Guidelines Board has set one of the benchmarks used to determine rent increases—the rise in landlords’ operating costs—at 2.8 percent, The New York Post reports.
Today marks a day of rejoicing for residents living in one of the city’s many rent-regulated apartments. Break out the Andre!
The Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to rent control brought by former federal prosecutor James D. Harmon Jr., the owner of a five-story townhouse on West 76th Street. Mr. Harmon, who grew up in the brownstone and now lives there with his wife Jeanne, inherited the building and its three rent-controlled tenants from his grandfather. The building also has three market-rate tenants.
In a city of renters, where the approximately 47% percent of the city’s 2.2 million rental units are subject to rent control or rent stabilization laws, the Harmon case touched New Yorkers’ notoriously hard-to-reach hearts. The case’s potential to radically upset New York City housing policy, as well as rent regulation laws across the country, left those on both sides of issue anxiously awaiting the court’s decision.
The Supreme Court has declined to hear the challenge to rent control brought by former federal prosecutor James D. Harmon Jr., the owner of a five-story townhouse on West 76th Street.
Mr. Harmon, who grew up in the brownstone and now lives there with his wife Jeanne, inherited the building and its three rent-controlled tenants Read More
That’s pretty much the full story at this point. “The court has not granted or denied that case yet,” a Supreme Court public information officer just informed The Observer. Such announcements are made every Monday, and so New York will be on the edge of its rent-regulated seats for another seven days. Check back then to see if landlords citywide will finally have their day in court. The Supreme Court has until June to decide whether or not it will hear the case—a waiting game worse than the TKTS booth.