The $238 Million Penthouse Provokes a Fierce Response: Tax It

By Jeffery C. Mays

For the last five years, a bill that would create a so-called pied-à-terre tax in New York has languished in the State Legislature, where proposals for new taxes often go to die.

But after Kenneth C. Griffin, a hedge fund billionaire with an estimated net worth of $10 billion, added to his personal real estate portfolio last month by closing on a $238 million apartment on Central Park South, things may soon be different.

The record purchase — surpassing the cost of the next most expensive home in the United States by more than $100 million — was a stark reminder that when wealthy buyers like Mr. Griffin purchase expensive apartments as second homes or investments, New York City and the state get less financial benefits. If the buyers live out of state, they are not subject to state or city income taxes, and do not pay New York sales tax while outside the state.

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