Developer: Are apartment tax credits fair?

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s proposal to expand tax credits for building new apartments citywide, outlined Monday in her State of the City speech, doesn’t impress one developer.

David Tufaro

Developer David F. Tufaro of Terra Nova Ventures LLC stands alongside his daughter Jennifer Tufaro Nolley on an April 16, 2012 tour of their Mount Vernon Mill project. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz)

David Tufaro, founder of Terra Nova Ventures, said he thinks the city needs to look at tax breaks for all residents, and not just for those building apartments. He said the city needs to consider proposals such as reducing property taxes to $1 per $100 of assessed value on newly sold homes to be more competitive with surrounding counties.

“I don’t think I should get special favors some guy who lives in a $140,000-$150,000 rowhouse doesn’t get,” said Tufaro, a former Republican candidate for mayor.

He said everyone knows the city has problems with crime, schools and high taxes. But he believes addressing property taxes will go a long way to attracting more lifetime residents.

“You need to give people a reason to live, work and visit here. We ain’t Paris,” Tufaro said.