Star To Pay 50 Times Less Than Going Rate For West Side Digs

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — They were crying foul Friday about a sweetheart tax loophole that will enable Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez to live in his new $6 million luxury West Side penthouse and pay virtually no real estate taxes.

The cost of a 28th row ticket for the Yankees 2011 home opener is $1,211.

The cost of an A-Rod autographed bat is $700.

The value of the Yankee third baseman’s special real estate tax break is just about priceless. He’s paying the bargain basement price of less than 4 cents a day.

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“It’s really obscene, but not only that people who live in these buildings pay full taxes and they keep going up and up and up,” Batya Lewton, president of the Coalition for a Livable West Side, told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

Rodriguez and all the residents of his posh high rise will get tax breaks for 10 years under the city’s 421A tax abatement program. Luxury developers get tax breaks in exchange for making sure affordable units get built elsewhere. Rodriguez is one of some 45,000 New Yorkers who have scored the tax break.

“I think it’s outrageous,” Lewton said.

When Rodriguez’s moves into his $6 million, five-bedroom penthouse his tax bill will be $1,150. In contrast, Stephen and Phyllis Franciosa pay $3,100 in taxes one their one-family home in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx.

“Going up again up, up, up,” Stephen said. “We got to make sure we don’t start chasing people from the city because it just gets too expensive.”

“Everything’s going up,” Phyllis added.

“I think my constituents feel a sense of outrage,” NYC Councilman James Vacca said.

“To find that someone rich like this is paying so little, it just goes to our core our feeling that this is not right. This has got to be addressed.”

The councilman said the law needs to be changed because this year alone the program will cost the city $900 million in lost revenue.

A-Rod’s taxes are so low that if he paid the going rate his tax bill would be 50 times higher. He should get such a break when he faces the Red Sox pitching staff.

City officials claim the tax breaks on Rodriguez’ building helped build over 575 units of affordable housing in the Bronx.

Upset another rich athlete has gotten a break? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Comments (241)
  1. BFH says:

    In effect he has paid his real estaste taxes in advance so that the low-income housing could get built. The city made that deal so that they don’t have to build ‘projects’.

    This saves teh city money and accomplishes a balance. That the city made a bad deal…..what do you expect good government?

    1. Jahnke says:

      The word is spelled, “the” you low-rent moron.

    2. Jahnke says:

      The word is spelled, “the,” you low-rent moron.

      1. eknhaj says:

        Is there an echo in here? Or just between your ears?

    3. Dundeedm says:

      575 Units for $900 Million in tax loss? do the math that doesnt add up.

  2. Marty C says:

    Stupid is as stupid does – who is stupid in this instance?

  3. imatelau says:

    “Luxury developers get tax breaks in exchange for making sure affordable units get built elsewhere.”

    Well, we don’t care is poor are having nice affordable homes being built by the same real estate developers, that rich guy is not having to pay!
    C’mon, you have to be intelligent … you can afford a nice place to live in NYC.
    The taxes … if they paid them would just go into the pockets of your corrupt democratic city officals!!!!!! This way they GO DIRECTLY TO HELPING BETTER HOUSING, for those LESS FORTUNATE THAN YOU!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Dundeedm says:

      Bloomberg is an Independent/Republican

  4. rbcintexas says:

    The problem is not the rich – the problem is the politicians making this horrible deals. The politicians do not care what they give away as long as they can get a photo op or tell the voters – see what I did for you. This is just another example of the Louisiana Purchase or the Corn Husker Kickback.

    Democrat or Republican, things will not turn around until we get the embedded politicians out of office.

    1. srstexas says:

      Well said, rbcintexas.

  5. dw says:

    Wake up fools. The rich always prosper at the expense of the rest of us. And we allow it happen again and again.

    1. R Ingrum says:

      I got the same break when I bought my condo 10 years ago. Now I pay full taxes. It’s the law. You think he doesn’t pay a fortune in income tax? The only way to balance the budget is to cut spending.

      1. R Ingrum says:

        Oh yeah. This is a really stupid article. We just want him to do a good job at 3rd base.

    2. dave says:

      the real fools are the ones that think its governments job to subsidize particular behaviors (building of low rent housing units, buying electric cars, installing solar panels, etc.) and not think the taxpayer pays.

  6. jim says:

    isn’t everyone ignoring the fact that the developer built low income housing units elsewhere to get these tax breaks? sure, a-rod can pay the real estate taxes, but only if they knock down the affordable units and give the developer his money back. it’s the law people – can’t have it both ways.

  7. Fecal McStool says:

    I like to talk about stool.

  8. Nick says:

    Why should any of us idiot Americans be upset by this? We created this monster we value sports players as heroes, we allow them to make so much money. If we as a country start to devalue sports then these clowns won’t make as much. But we have been programmed over many years that sports players are above us. We should treat the military members, teachers, policemen, firemen who put their lives on the line everyday as they are heroes not these clowns who play a game. Only in America could that spectacle the Lebron James put out over the summer could happen. And he has never won a championship only in America!!! Wake up people we have states who are broke but people who play a game could buy this country!!! Unbelievable!! And I fought in 2 wars for this country for nothing!!!

  9. Chris @ Austin says:

    So all these New Yorkers are upset at the law and the people who pay taxes according to this law. This coming from the very people who reelected that sack Charlie Rangel. At least Alex Rodriguez pays his taxes by the standards laid out in the law.

    1. Joe says:

      You freaking idiot, I live in New York City, pay $3,300 dollars in R.E. taxes, and have nothing to do with Rangel. This Rangel crook represented and was elected by only a small fraction of New York City residents from HIS district.
      So get your facts straight before you open your clueless mouth. I bet you’re not even from New York, so do us all a favor and just shut your trap!!!

      1. smokehouse56 says:

        Hey Joe, do you always sound this stupid? Just asking.

      2. RolanDoobies says:

        Joe, any way you cut it, you are still an idiot for living in New York. It is a cesspool.

      3. Chris @ Austin says:

        Hey Joe. We know about your boroughs and districts. The City of New York consist of 5 boroughs. When others read a story about New York City they don’t contemplate which borough is being referenced. Same with Rangel. The rest of the world does not see 5 boroughs, we just see one city. Why you ask? Because your the only city in the nation that has this goofy system hence the reason no one really cares which borough is being referenced.

  10. RolanDoobies says:

    I dont understand how millions of people can live in that cesspool called New York City. LOL I guess you just dont know any better.

    1. Smokin' Fatties says:

      Well said RolanDoobies… New Yorkers are so stupid. They elect moron politicians like Rangel, buy the liberal BS election after election as they swirl down the toilet of bureaucracy, high taxes, and corruption. Its hard to figure out which state is dumber- California or NY. Rangel??? Boxer??? You people are idiots. ROTFLMFAO!!!

      1. Smokin' Fatties says:

        BTW, the Red Sox are gonna kick the Yankees a$$ this year. Fifth place finish for the Bronx Bombers!

  11. bigdog says:

    Don’t blame ARod – he benefits from a tax program that is available to anyone who can buy in a building constrcuted with a 421a abatement.
    You “blame” the consytruction unions who have consiatently pushed for extensions of the 421-a program on the basis that it was needed to foster new residential construction – and union jobs to buld those units. Property developers + constrction unions + contribusions by both to members of NY City Council = 421a. Its the system, stupid…

  12. Nut says:

    Blame your beloved libs. Not his fault nor the fault of the other 45,000 people getting the break..I can’t understand why you live in the city with it’s insane tax rates. If all the rich left they would have no choice but to lower it…

  13. Calvin Hobbes says:

    Those 575 units in th Bronx are mounted on little poles populated by pigeons.

  14. Marc R. Azous says:

    NY taxes its citizens and businesses to to the point they’re fleeing the state. I don’t blame anyone for paying as little as they can, no matter what their income.

  15. kds says:

    Blame TurdBerg and his predecessor, he started this mess. Affordable housing??? Where? There’s nothing affordable anywhere anymore, specially in desirable areas around the city. Also the few affordable apartments still around have a waiting list of years…

  16. Kennedy says:

    Don’t get mad at ARod, its your idiot politicians that created the rule. Its like me saying I think its obnoxious that everyone in this board writes off their morgtage interest…. the rule was created, he is simply using it

  17. Joe says:

    You should know you got what you vote for…Keep voting in the same council members in. Give Bloomburg another couple of terms.
    Suck it up lady you’re not in the circle you thought you were. They work the peasants. None of you are. I’d plan on leaving NYC and taking my money elsewhere if I lived in NY

    1. smokehouse56 says:

      Hey Joe, didn’t you just accuse someone of not living in NY. Were you talking to yourself? Just asking.

  18. John Svengali says:

    Please, spell that ‘A-H-Rod.’

  19. weewayne says:

    Like Congressman Capuano (MA) said, “… Every once and awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary,” OR SEIU’s little country tune “We got to smash them to the ground.”

    1. R Ingrum says:

      Liberal civil discourse I see…

    2. BJC says:

      Who you going to bloody up? Mayor Blooming Idiot? You would probably do like the sorry Flee-baggers that run and hid instead of stand there and fight for what you believe. Flee-Baggers is a perfect name for you Democrats. You are like fleas on a dog, the only way you can survive is living off of a host.

  20. Mark Matis says:

    New York – You got what you voted for! Enjoy!

    Go ahead, bite the Big Apple, don’t mind the maggots, uh-huh!

    1. donald c says:


    2. keith says:

      I spent 3 years there one day!!

  21. henry says:

    How much does he pay in income tax? Sales tax? Or any of the hundreds of other taxes that are stolen from Americans? I find it more outrageous that anyone would pay $1,211 for a seat at a baseball game.

  22. Rich Barnett says:

    You people are obtuse. For certain.

    Mostly for the fact that you appear to have no idea what a 421 abatement is in the first place.

    Do they really let you people vote? Really??

    1. Paul says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Almost all those responding are complete tools marching to the beat of the shallow media that is reporting this. Too funny.

      421a and J51 programs have resulted in 100s of thousands of apts. being built over the years, and 100s of thousands of jobs and economic activity…benefiting many of the people complaining here. Its almost like theyre not capable of considering this side of the issue. Is it mass stupidity, or are people just angrier these days and get mad at everything until theyre attention is diverted to next thing to get mad at?

      Forget the fact that in 10 years his taxes will be market rate…or is it slightly longer for 421a…cant recall.

      Well at least when I read responses like this I go to bed knowing I truly am smarter than most people….good night.

  23. N says:

    Any individual who owns a condo that has a tax abatement is exempt from a portion of real estate taxes on their unit regardless of how wealthy they may be. A-rod is like has the same rights as any condo owner who purchases and owns a condo unit in a building that has a tax abatement.

    1. Paul says:

      That is true. But how does that build affordable housing?

  24. Paul says:

    I don’t get it. How does A-rod and the other 45.000 people not paying taxes create affordable housing???

  25. Chris Bove' says:

    You can’t blame A-Rod, he is following the letter of the law. This is why I don’t get upset with the recipients of welfare and unemployment benefits (99 weeks!). Welfare is given out like money comes from thin air and 99 weeks of unemployment benefits far exceeds what any person or employer paid in equating it to welfare. Just like I can’t get mad at A-Rod for following the law, I can’t get mad at these recipients. The politicians, lawmakers, are the ones to blame. And when those politicians are reelected, the voters are to blame. Case in point, Charlie Rangel. No surprise the same city that has this fun tax law also reelected that crook.

  26. jd says:

    1150 x 50 = 57,500 (what A-Rod should have paid based on comparison to what the Franciosa family has to pay)

    If this is true:

    “City officials claim the tax breaks on Rodriguez’ building helped build over 575 units of affordable housing in the Bronx.”

    then, (57,500 -1150) / 50 = 98 (575 houses to be sold at $98 below market price)

    Worth it?

  27. JS says:

    $900,000,000 (or $1,650,000/unit) “helps” pay for 545 units. How much is this going to cost for affordable housing?

  28. John says:

    I bet A-Rod gave more to charity in one year than any of us will in our entire life.

    And maybe the premise of our argument is wrong. We shouldn’t have to pay tax in the first place on OUR property.

  29. James Andrews says:

    The taxes were paid in advance. They were also spent in advance. The city decided to have the builders pay for housing for others instead of just paying the normal rate. This way you don’t see how much they are spending to hand out housing for votes elsewhere.

    I agree residents should be mad, but not at A Rod and not at the builder. This was a choice made by politicians to swap future tax payments for redistribution through housing. The politicians now feigning outrage are the ones that created this deal. Not a loophole for residents. It was a payoff to politicians.

  30. Scott George says:

    New yorkers are so funny. You get the government you deserve, not the one you want. This “loophole” was some backroom deal to grease somebody’s palms, not necessarily A-Rod’s. You keep voting for the corruption, and act stupid and surprised when it rears its ugly head.

    1. Chris Bove' says:

      Exactly! Don’t blame A-Rod, blame the people who wrote and enacted the law. Also, stop saying they are getting Tax-Breaks. They are not getting anything, they are simply keeping the money they have earned. What they are doing is paying their taxes based on the current laws enacted by law makers. The wording implies A-Rod is getting away with some underhanded scheme he concocted.

  31. discusted says:

    $900 million for 575 units thats 1565217 per unit

    1. Dean says:

      $900 million lost revenue over the entire program, not A-rod’s building’s share. Also, you don’t levy that amount per unit of affordable housing built. Fail on several levels. Go back to school.

      1. Paul says:

        I think “discusted” is right. IThe city gains 575 units of affordable housind and loses 9000 million in revenue no matter how many years it takes.

  32. Junta says:

    Is it time yet for the torches & pitchforks?

  33. tea party vik says:

    So what? Would you rather he not buy the penthouse and pay $0 sales taxes? Not pay for moving or to furnish or clean or upkeep or stock with food.

    He spends more on all of the above than the person in the example from the bronx.

    Tax breaks are benefits to those who pay taxes. Its our money, not yours. Deal with it.

  34. ANSI standard says:

    Wow, if you park your car in front of this building you get a ticket for more than 100 dollars right away and the tax for that whole building is not even 100 days a day??? Wake up guys?. Something is wrong for sure?

  35. Craz11 says:

    And we wonder how Obama got elected. I am speechless

  36. sueinmi says:

    Obama’s Google friends don’t pay the going rate either…they just donate to campaigns.

  37. WiseGuy says:

    My God! So many socialist raging at A-Rod when he’s doing what every single one of you HYPOCRITES would be doing if you had a chance.

    Try a little critical thinking for once in your public-educated lives instead of reacting based on feelings.

    This law was written by some politician. A-Rod is just taking advantage of it.

    Let me put it in terms you morons would understand: Let’s pretend you’re a plumber. If, when filing your taxes, you discovered you could take a tax credit for simply being a plumber and it meant you’d pay 1/50th of what your neighbor pays because he’s NOT a plumber. Would you take it or call Mayor Bloomberg to ask if that law could be changed?

    The answer requires honesty….something most liberals are incapable of.

    1. LibsAreIdiots says:

      I love you WiseGuy!!!!!!!!!!! Well said!

    2. Ignorance is bliss says:

      Mr. Wiseguy, I think you have some brown stuff that smells like what A-Rod ate last night. Get your head out of his ass. True – A-Rod didn’t write the law – True – If you or I were in the same predicament we’d likely pursue a similiar route. However, now that this is out in the open, it should be corrected. It’s people like you sniff out loop holes, use and abuse, crash and burn and then will cry foul. Keep drinking the cool aid and let the big people fight the power for you. Maybe we should go back and be under British control because after all, if you were a big controlling country that can take over another, why not, right? YOu fool!

    3. William says:

      That was great WiseGuy!! Really!!

  38. madonna says:

    You want developers to build free homes that my taxes will pay for this sis the cost. Deal with it you clowns…. otherwise, there will be no affordable housing in NYC for all you mooches to live off my taxes

  39. Publius says:

    Try to blame this one on the Republicans; the Mayor of NYC is an independent, the City Council is overwhelmingly Democrat and the Governor is a Democrat.

    Yep, this blatant give away is courtesy of the party of the “common man,” the Democrats.

  40. Roger Sunderlin says:

    another rich democrat giving another rich democrat a tax break while the little people carry the tax burden

  41. Todd P. says:

    The Red Sox will definitely NOT give him that break when THEY see him!!…………

  42. Sniffit says:

    4 cents a day does not equal $1150

    1. Publius says:

      I think they meant $4/day even though it’s closer to $3/day.

      1. John Harris says:

        Oh don’t confuse the story with math (or grammar/spelling for that matter). But it is ridiculous. The tax code(s) are just too darn complicated. Do away with all corporate, property, and all other taxes except for income tax AND do not “auto-deduct” it. Once a year, make people pay what they pay (and if you don’t pay, you don’t vote). We’ll fix the budget in about 5 min.

  43. Kaisersoser says:

    Seriously, you guys have nothing better to write about….
    You make it sound like this problem is specific to ARod.

    The fact is that the US is one of the very few democracies in the world were a regressive tax system is in place, and in fact even celebrated.

    If you dont believe me, as all your family and friends that voted for republicans who refuse to eliminate the bush era tax cuts for the rich..

    In the meantime, I suggest the author finds a real “sports related topic” to investigate and address…instead of more ARod bashing junk journalism.

    1. Taxpayer says:

      Um…open a book once in a while and you might know the difference between “regressive” and “progressive”. Ours is a PROGRESSIVE tax system, where the more you earn, the higher your rate of taxation.

      1. Honest John says:

        Well sort of, i.e. in theory. BUT… without knowing for sure (does anyone?), I’d guess that the reality favors “the rich” paying a far lesser percentage of their earnings than working stiffs – they can employ LOTS of tax dodges that are simply impractical for ordinary working folk. And let’s not forget, that if they are likewise part of the ruling regime, then many simply don’t report their income at the risk of someday saying “whoops!” and paying some portion of what was discovered – Rangel, Geithner, ….

    2. S C says:

      I thought the new tax breaks for the rich are now called the Obama tax cuts. Also, heed your dem pres in these hard times and stop going out to eat or take a vacation like the Michele (Maria Antoinette) does, and please…………………no more golf while we all lose our houses and jobs.

  44. tommyd says:

    Gee whiz, you would think in a place as “Liberal” as NY City the well to do would be paying their fair share, I guess not.

    Can you say HYPOCRITE ?

    But they do talk a good game don’t they… as long as they are spending YOUR money that is…. haha
    how does it feel to be a chump.?

  45. Sean says:

    They wrote the law and are now angry it is getting used. How about this for a change…. everyone pays the same percent in taxes. I do not care if you are Bill Gates or a homeless guy… the government gets the same 12% or less.
    I also have often wondered about true land rights. I never own my property as long as the government can take it away if I do not pay taxes on it. Weird…. property taxes on someone who OWNS the property.

  46. Jm in San Diego CA says:

    Mad at A-rod? Not mad at the politicians who engineered the law for their rich contributors? You’re totally nucking futs!

  47. Nick says:

    Cheats in baseball, and cheats the taxpayers, not really surprised it’s A-Rod after all.

  48. al says:

    The tax break isn’t FREE people. READ between the line. In exchange for the tax abatement, 575 units of affordable housing was built. Tax abatement also isn’t FREE. The developer has to be a substantial amount to the city in order to get it. Those tenants also pay a premium for privilege to live there for the next 10 years with a stabilized RE tax.

    1. JC says:

      let me get this straight Al, arod gets a break and then the poor people get another break and what do the middle class get. The shaft?

    2. Oh no! Oh yes! says:

      Did I miss something here? They’re getting 575 measly units in a city of 10 million and giving up $900 million per year? HELLO!

      1. David Z says:

        Yes, you did miss something.

        The overall tax abatement program costs the city 900 million a year OVERALL.

        A-Rod PARTICULAR building’s abatement led to 575 new units, but didn’t cost the city nearly that much in revenue.

        That 900 million the government coffers lost because of the program probably created tens of thousands OR MORE (given how many units one building could lead too) affordable housing apartments throughout the city.

        Basic reading comprehension guys.

    3. Chris says:

      But once they build the units the deal is off see? Because the owners’ won’t tear down a building just because the city went back on its word. There’s no consequences (they think) to indulging in greed and class warfare.

  49. richard says:

    Typical republican Tax breaks for the wealthy while the shrinking middle class continues to suffer.

    1. konnc says:

      Richard maybe you should pull your head out of your rear and name all the republicans running that septic tank of a city that allows this to happen. Let me help; you since I don’t think you can figure it out on your own. LEFT WING LIBERAL DEMOCRATS.

    2. Denise says:

      absolutely amazing…. this has nothing to do with A-Rod’s tax break = or even the wealthy. This is a political decision made to attract buyers and build the economy in particular area.

    3. Honest John says:

      Your liberal bias is showing! Take a deep breath and examine your contentions! The “tax breaks” that apply in this case are the offspring of many years of leftist liberal Democrat rule in NY. How can you overlook the obvious?

  50. Ellen says:

    Oh God, tax breaks for the rich, and the middle class and poor still getting the shaft. I don’t care if your talking about a baseball great it still stinks to high heaven.

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