An En Plein Air Kind of Life
NoHo outside is predictably edgy and probably not too profitable, but our grit is still showing and perhaps that’s all that counts for the moment. Showfields, Kith and Kith Kids, Blick, the stalworth Shapiro’s Hardware, The Swatch Store and UPS Store are among the few retailers open; each with a sparkle that belies the destructions of three weeks ago.
Many, though not all, restaurants have adapted to new street dining regulations. Our distinctive hotels remain closed. Our galleries have worked diligently to provide virtual exposures; the Merchants House has dug deep into its archives and collaborations to offer substantive materials relevant to the merchant class from the 1830’s to the turn of the Century.
To those who have remained, these images are familiar and daily evolving; for those who have left, this is us, now.
What remains to be seen is how swiftly we can attract visitors from other neighborhoods, tourists from around the country and around the world. More than a third of NoHo residents have migrated to rural homes when the data reveals that NoHo rivals Western Connecticut, Massachusets, New Hampshire and Eastern Vermont in the lowest concentrations of infections and deaths. We know of at least one NoHo resident who emmigrated early to Florida only to return, in panic, to a safer NoHo home. Regardless, NoHo residential presence is not enough to support the small businesses we have been so proud to welcome.
What We Need
Tax assements in NoHo (if not also SoHo) have skyrocketed in the last two years. These assessments have created an exceptional burden to artist-owned co-ops and co-operatives. The new assements are based on new high-end development and not at all reflective of the majority middle income owners who revived and remain stalwarts of the community. In contrast to SoHo, NoHo has sustained lower cost ground floor retail leases; this has attracted more entrepreneurial small business tenants. Balooning tax assessments have upended that competitive advantage.
We need realistic, Covid-Reflecting tax assessmants. The reductions would be reflective in retail leases; they could reduce local and Federal loans and grants designed to sustain small business; they could make it possible for Co-Op and Co-Operative owned buildings to sustain their artist and entrepreneurial existence. And, this could reduce tax and mortgage delinquencies.
It is said that real estate accounts for 50% of NYC revenue, but the Comptrollers office recently reports that tax revenue has shown multiple impacts the affects of which mitigate the contributions of real estate alone:
Tax Revenue Collections through May
|($$ thousands)||FY 2019||FY 2020||Change||Pct. Change|
|All Other Taxes||$1,427||$1,536||$109||7.6%|
SOURCE: Office of Management and Budget
NOTE: General Corporation tax includes Banking Corporation Tax. Property Transaction taxes includes the Real Property Transfer and Mortgage Recording taxes.
Familiarize yourself with the outside dining rules.