In its recently-enacted 2020 budget, New York State moved to increase both the real estate transfer tax and the mansion tax on high-end residential properties. The changes go into effect for transfers occurring after July 1, 2019, with a grandfather exception for transfers after that date pursuant to contracts entered into on or before April 1, 2019. However, the increases only apply in New York City and other cities with a population of one million or more (of which there are currently none). New York imposes a state tax on the transfer of real property, at the rate of $2 for each $500 of consideration. It also imposes a so-called “mansion tax” of 1% of the consideration on transfers of residential property with consideration in excess of $1 million.The new law increases the transfer tax to $3.25 per $500 of consideration where the consideration is in excess of $3 million. It also increases the mansion tax on a sliding scale. The tax increases to 1.25% on consideration between $2 million and $3 million, 1.5% on sales between $3 million and $5 million, and so on, up to 3.9% for consideration above $25 million. The new law also makes the grantor of property potentially liable for the mansion tax if the grantee fails to pay it.
As the cost of buying or selling very expensive properties in New York City will increase, companies with transferees into or out of the city with such properties will incur larger relocation costs.