Michael Bloomberg tried setting national policy this morning, insisting that foreign consulates here that own buildings should keep paying local real estate taxes, and said it’s wrong for America not to be paying similar taxes on buildings they own overseas.
He was commenting on a story in today's Post about Hillary Clinton reversing a federal policy that could cost the city $260 million.
“There is an issue of whether properties owned by foreign governments not used as an embassy or as a consulate should be paying taxes,” Bloomberg said at a press conference this morning on Staten Island. “Since 1873, they’ve been saying this is taxable. It should not go untaxed.”
He added, “Keep in mind when they say, ‘Well, if you have to pay taxes here, the American government will have to pay taxes overseas.’ Well, first thing is, should we be in the business of doing something anti-competitive. … Why should we be doing it to other countries? We don’t want other countries to do it ourselves.”
“If we’re doing it overseas, we should stop.”
Bloomberg said the city tried collecting some back taxes and got some resistance from Washington.
“The State Department resisted our efforts. We went to the Supreme Court. Supreme Court decided in our favor. They said take it back to the courts but this is something the city can litigate,” he said. “We did go to court again. We won that case and we have $260 million waiting to be collected.”
Bloomberg predicted, “Every embassy is going to buy a building, rent it out. … They’ll be able to compete right here on our home ground. It is totally unfair.”