This is the hideous Toren Condo that I have previously mentioned at least twice on this blog. I first saw it when Jay Gould was giving some of us rides home when I was performing with the Brooklyn Repertory Opera (which I haven’t done since 2010) and wanted to puke at its hideousness, but it was years before I saw it again. Now I live in a homeless shelter two blocks away, and I can’t leave the building without seeing it, since all the subway entrances require passing it.
The side of the building (in the window right about where the taxi is in the photo) proclaims that it was built with the 421-a corporate welfare scam, which was allowed to sunset, but was reincorporated into the state budget last week, since the state legislature is controlled by oligarchs. 421-a buildings pay no property taxes for 35 years (in the current budget; 25 in Toren’s case) in exchange for a trivial number of “affordable” units, which are intended for people who make as much as $119,000 a year, but only down to $60-70,000 at the bottom end.
Buildings like this are sprouting up in downtown Brooklyn, displacing the people in the area to put in tax shelters for rich foreigners in the midst of a housing crises with over 60,000 people homeless, not because they’re lazy, mentally ill, or drug addled, but because they can’t afford “affordable housing.”
I’m too skilled a photographer to make it look as bad as it does in real life, but it’s still hideous even in the photo. It’s even more hideous when you see the round bumps like girders that are on each of the grey panels. (I added the top picture where this can be seen more clearly on April 12.)
By not paying property taxes, the owner of Toren Condo is a leech on society, enjoying massive profits and contributing nothing pf value. There are plenty of other buildings like this in Downtown Brooklyn, but at least they aren’t hideous to look at, even though they are still a blight on the community.
What’s on your mind?: Gayle and Fred: “No one will give him a chance or even an interview!”
Stacy Johnson: “He’s not interviewing well.”
My response to Stacy Johnson:
Not a very intelligent response, is it? I can’t imagine that Gayle and Fred found your answer very helpful.
Imagine if someone mastered a certain video game, then entered a tournament to play the game. Someone stands in front of the machine where this person is told to play the game. Another person is not blocked from playing at another console and proclaimed the winner. The person who was prevented from playing is told that they didn’t play the game well. this is an exact analog to what you told Gayle and Fred. It was a pretty offensive response.
As someone with a master’s degree who has been living in the New York City homeless shelter system for five years next month and is currently employed at the city minimum wage after my 14th interview in five years from 3,332+ applications (tracked in two spreadsheets). I am medically limited to a desk job. I’m currently in a call center job that I hate and pays the local minimum wage, was avoiding applying to such jobs. The only way to move out of the shelter on my income involves losing all my stored property–I was evicted form a one-bedroom apartment.
I have been trying to establish myself as a professional writer, and someone getting paid to write such gibberish really points out to me that competence and employment have a weak correlation at best.
Many people believe that Mitt Romney, who is a direct descendant of Rebecca Towne Nurse and thus my tenth cousin by adoption (blood relative to my great-grandmother’s adoptive mother, Ann Eliza Gould Temple), lost the election because he was caught on tape saying that 46% of Americans don’t pay taxes. He must have been talking about children, because the poor most certainly do pay taxes.
I filed my taxes with H and R Block last night. According to them, I paid $728 in federal taxes. My refund was only $329, which was lowered to $261 after Block’s fees for the state return. My total taxable income in 2016 was $17,605, including $4,388 of unemployment insurance compensation, having lost my temp job with MTA in July and not started my temp job at D.F. King until the end of October. That’s below the poverty line. I paid $1,057 in withholding taxes and got only $329 back.
That is proof that only liars and fools say that poor people do not pay taxes. The next time you hear someone claim this, you should ask them if they are lying or just plain ignorant.
It is absolutely right and fair that in a housing crisis, real estate investors should be punished for speculating indefinitely on vacant property. The property needs to be identified and actions taken.
I previously reported that the shelter gets $118 a day. That was based on a generalization. The reality in my specific case is a bit lower, but still egregiously higher than what I paid per month for my 1-bedroom apartment in 2011.
Here is a photograph of the document to prove it:
Someone owes me and the rest of New York City an explanation why this is a better use of taxpayer dollars than simply letting me have an apartment comparable to the one I was paying $1,018.75 for each month. The seething, evil desire to punish the victim for lack of available jobs, and the crony deals cut by the shelter providers are the only possible explanations for such evil.