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UFT Grabs Tax Breaks, While Demanding Tax Hikes for NYC Residents

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By: Mario Mancini

The union representing tens of thousands of New York City public school teachers is protecting their own interests at the expense of the general population.

The New York Post reports The United Federation of Teachers has cashed in on millions of dollars in sweetheart tax abatements on properties it owns in New York City, all while the union advocates for higher property taxes for everybody else.

The powerful union has secured more than $17 million in savings from property-tax abatements and other credits on its two Financial District buildings, an analysis of public records by The Nee York Post reports. The tax breaks include multiple Industrial & Commercial Incentive Program breaks, lease abatements from the city, commercial expansion tax credits and more.

In 2002 the UFT sold off its longtime headquarters on Park Avenue South and purchased a 340,000-square-foot building at 50 Broadway. It additionally “net leased” a 400,000-square-foot space at 52 Broadway — which left them on the hook for the site’s property taxes. The UFT has secured no fewer than 129 separate tax breaks and refunds from the city Department of Finance since 2009 writes Jon Levine of The New York Post.

The exclusive report shows that In some cases the savings were as small as $1,252.92 for a commercial expansion credit in February 2020 and as large as a jumbo ICIP $689,568 deduction in August 2009. The city Department of Finance’s publicly available online records only go back to 2009, suggesting the sum of all tax breaks is significantly higher. The years of sweetheart treatment fly in the face of UFT honchos who have long argued that property taxes in the five boroughs should be higher — so that teachers can be paid more.

“Instead of asking the wealthiest to help fund the public services we deserve, the state budget has been kept on a starvation diet since the last recession due to the self-imposed 2% spending cap,” UFT boss Michael Mulgrew said in March 2020, calling on legislators to lift a 2% cap on annual property tax increases, which had been implemented in 2012.

According to Wikipedia, The United Federation of Teachers (UFT) is the labor union that represents most teachers in New York City public schools. As of 2005, there were about 118,000 in-service teachers and nearly 30,000 paraprofessional educators in the union, as well as about 54,000 retired members. In October 2007, 28,280 home day care providers voted to join the union. It is affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, the AFL–CIO and the Central Labor Council. It is also the largest member of New York State United Teachers, which is affiliated with the National Educational Association and Education International.

Meanwhile, extreme leftist union boss Randi Weingarten of the American Federation of Teachers lashed out at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with a string of half-truths and liberal lies  — firing off a tweet riddled with grammatical errors that accused the potential 2024 presidential hopeful of “banning everything he dislikes.”

“DeSantis should be fixated on the cost of living issues in Fla – housing is unaffordable, home insurance even worse, but instead he is expanding gun access, defunding, public schools, & banning everything he dislikes – teachers, journalists & the vulnerable,” Weingarten wrote.

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