Introduction to the NYC Rent Guidelines Board
THE BOARD AND THE RENT REGULATION SYSTEM
(Part I) (Part II) (Part
Prior to the Establishment of the Board
and social customs have promoted and regulated economic activities since
ancient times. Rent regulation is one policy among countless others impacting
on the economy and property interests. Royal charters establishing private
corporations created a vehicle for massive capital formation and set the
stage for the modern day business enterprise. Old English common law rules
and statutes established our concepts of real and personal property and
channeled the ways in which property could be sold or transferred. By the
end of the nineteenth century, bankruptcy and debtor/creditor laws controlled
the creation and elimination of personal and business debt, antitrust measures
reigned in anti-competitive practices, and health and building codes began
eliminating dangerous conditions in urban areas. In the twentieth century,
legislative reforms imposed health and safety protections in the workplace,
land use restrictions, environmental protections, banking and securities
regulations, and redefined the terms of private employment contracts.
with these legal developments, massive public investments in education,
roads, transportation facilities, communication systems, and various types
of public research and development, combined to create a physical and human
infrastructure under which commerce and culture have generally flourished.
varying public actions have had both positive and negative effects on the
value of private property and the uses to which such property may be put.
For example, a city's decision to place an airport in a particular location
may double the profits of a neighboring motel, while slashing the value
of homes adjacent to noisy runways. Likewise, the adoption of a zoning
ordinance may be devastating to a developer who purchased a vacant lot
in anticipation of putting up a (now prohibited) high rise building, while
being highly beneficial to the owner of a neighboring brownstone threatened
with congestion and obstruction of light from the new building.
the City of New York, the supply of rental housing is drastically limited
by a variety of public actions: zoning laws limit the size, use and location
of residential housing; building codes restrict materials used in construction
and design; historic preservation laws limit demolition or alteration of
certain structures; wage and labor policies raise the expense of construction
and maintenance; public ownership of parks, roads and other spaces limit
the availability of building sites. These public actions - driven
as they are by competing public values and concerns - indirectly raise
the cost of new construction and site acquisition and thereby contribute
to the housing shortage. While this is true in every city, in a highly
congested area such as New York, the costs and benefits of public
intervention are more pronounced. The enhanced value of residential buildings
in New York is, thus, in large part, attributable to government intervention.
To give a stark (if somewhat fanciful) illustration, if the City sold Central
Park to private developers the value of residential units bordering the
park would plummet, housing would be more abundant, and Manhattan, in general,
would be a more affordable but far less attractive place to live.
the obvious and massive effects of federal fiscal and monetary policy,
almost every act of government impacts - in some fashion - on private property
interests. And at some level, all economic activity is the product of some
implicit or explicit public policy, whether that policy is one of open
competition or involves some degree of interventionism. Hence, there is
no neutral baseline or "natural" market from which to measure deviations
from market based allocations of goods and services. Government -- past
and present -- is inextricably intertwined with the marketplace.
private markets and interventionist policies reflect a rough, evolving
democratic consensus on how economic affairs should be conducted. We generally
concern ourselves with "what works best." There are, however, constitutional
limits, state laws, customs and traditions that restrict the degree to
which government has been able or willing to interfere with markets and
private property interests.14 Among
the innumerable government actions that impact on private property interests,
rent regulation seems to tread most conspicuously.
interventionist measures and public sector activities have received widespread
acceptance as necessary and proper to contain potentially destabilizing
elements within our economy, to "promote the general welfare" or to foster
salutary competitive practices. Generally, they spark little controversy.
regulation has been an exception. Rent regulation involves direct government
control of a key term in all contracts: price. Other contemporary examples
of such overt intervention include minimum wage laws, milk price supports
and rate setting for utilities and transportation services (e.g., yellow
cabs). Yet these policies generate only a fraction of the passion witnessed
during New York's periodic "rent wars."
and price regulations are not new. After the first modern university was
founded in Bologna, Italy around the beginning of the last millennium students
flocked to the area creating a housing shortage. "Bolognese landlords threatened
to raise scholars' rents" and "student protests led Emperor Frederick Barbarossa
to award them protection from exploitation in 1158."15 In
England, medieval clerics developed the concept of a just price for the
necessities of life and Parliament continued to pass laws regulating the
price of various services and commodities long after the clergy ceased
to exert a significant influence in the making of laws.16 In
revolutionary era America the colonies (and later the states) regularly
restricted prices on staples and limited the amount innkeepers could charge
for food and lodging.17 Notably,
Trinity Church, owner of the "first large rural Manhattan estate to be
organized for a town rental market," was subject to a ceiling on its annual
ancient rules and customs operated not to shield consumers, tenants or
laborers from market forces, but to protect vested interests such as landowners.
A good example is New York's feudal land laws. Until the 1840's vast tracks
of land populated by tenant farmers were controlled by a small number of
large landlords. Feudal land tenures harnessed these farmers to leasehold
estates, and prevented them from ever owning the land they worked. Violent
uprisings erupted when the landlords attempted to enforce harsh lease conditions
or sought evictions during periods of economic distress. These uprisings
eventually led to state constitutional reforms in 1846, abolishing all
feudal land tenures and promoting a conversion to freehold estates.
some respects, these struggles revealed an endemic tension in landlord/tenant
relations. As noted in the 1980 Report of the New York State Temporary
Commission on Rental Housing:
substitute the years 1919-20, 1941-42, 1950-51, 1961-62, 1968-69, 1970-71,
1974 and 1979, for 1845, apartment house owners for landowners, and apartment
house tenants for tenant-farmers and the conditions and remedial legislation
action of over a century ago present a most striking parallel to the
conditions and enactments of the later periods.19
leaseholders would never experience the dramatic changes secured by these
early tenant farmers.20 But
changes in legal protections afforded residential tenants have been significant.
Over the past century, lease terms governing tenure, habitability, evictions
and rent adjustments have largely been supplanted or transformed by legislation
and court rulings. Even in the absence of rent regulations, the common
law lease of a century ago no longer exists. Leases once created independent
covenants for delivery of possession and payment of rent. Tenants were
thus obligated to pay rent even when possession was not delivered or services
were not maintained. Leases now involve "mutually dependent" contractual
obligations. If possession or services are not provided, rent may be withheld
host of other lease terms have been altered by statute and court rulings.
Lease provisions allowing "self-help" evictions are unlawful. Lease provisions
waiving a landlord's obligation to maintain habitability are unlawful.
Restrictions on roommates, subletting and pets are now governed by statute.
Moreover, New York tenants now have affirmative rights to organize with
other tenants, to receive protection against retaliatory evictions and
to prevent landlords from engaging in various forms of discrimination (including
discrimination on the basis of age, race, creed, color, national origin,
sex, age, disability, familial status, marital status, the presence of
children, sexual orientation, lawful occupation, alienage or citizenship
a sense, all leasehold interests in residential apartments in New York
have evolved into a new type of tenure -- clearly not the kind of freehold
estate held by homeowners, but certainly not the common law leasehold of
a century ago.
the vestiges of feudalism spawned tenant-farmer uprisings of the 1840's,
the unregulated proliferation of substandard (but high rent) housing in
New York City created an even greater source of public unrest in the mid-nineteenth
century. Affordability issues began to appear as soon as New York became
a major metropolis. Notably, as today, the affordability problem was largely
the product of a dual economy. As Burrows and Wallace observed in Gotham:
1830's boom improved living conditions for many working people, notably
the two-fifths of the City's artisans who worked in the building trades,
erecting the thousand-plus structures going up each year... But the majority
of the working class saw their living standards deteriorate, partly because
of boom-fostered inflation -- especially the rapidly rising rents exacted
by those the City Inspector (in 1835) called 'mercenary landlords' --
but primarily because constructing housing for poor people wasn't profitable.21
response to the City's low-income housing needs was the construction of
multi-family "tenements" - the first of which was erected in 1833. Unfortunately
this proved to be an imperfect solution. Overcrowded tenements soon became
a breeding ground for a variety of health and social problems. A cholera
epidemic in 1849 took approximately 5,000 lives.22 In
1854, a second cholera outbreak took 2,509 lives.23 Unemployment
afflicted about one in five tenement families.24 Poverty
was widespread and severe. According to one account:
in the City were beginning to take their toll in terms of the general
social order. Major riots in 1849 and 1857 pointed toward the increasing
pathological state of the tenement population. The most traumatic civil
disturbance, however, was the "draft riots" of 1863. On the surface they
were a reaction to newly imposed involuntary conscription for military
service in the Civil War. But the violence was also the product of the
intolerable condition of the city's poor. The wretched and diseased population
of the tenements, especially of the Sixth Ward, poured into the city
streets. They demonstrated beyond question the connection between the
housing problem and the threat of civil disturbance.25
Jacob Riis described in How the Other Half Lives:
tenement-house population had swelled to half a million souls by ,
and on the East Side, in what is still the most populated district in
all the world ... it was packed at a rate of 290,000 to the square mile
... The death of a child in a tenement was registered in the Bureau of
Vital Statistics as 'plainly due to suffocation of foul air of an unventilated
apartment,' and the Senators, who had come down from Albany to find out
what was the matter with New York, reported that 'there are annually
cut off from the population by disease and death enough human beings
to people a city, and enough human labor to sustain it.' And yet experts
had testified that, as compared with uptown, rents were from twenty-five
to thirty percent higher in the worst slums of the lower wards... 26
1865, nearly five in seven city residents (not including Brooklyn) lived
in sub-standard tenement housing.27 In
1867 the State adopted the nation's first comprehensive law addressing
health and safety issues in tenements. The Tenement House Act of 1867 mandated
such things as fire escapes for non-fireproof buildings and at least one
water closet for every twenty tenants. The law also forbade occupation
the turn of the century approached, hundreds of thousands of new immigrants
filtered into an already overcrowded housing stock. In 1884, Felix Adler,
leader of the New York Society for Ethical Culture, observed, "[t]he evils
of the tenement house section of this city are due to the estates which
neglect the comfort of their tenants, and to the landlords who demand exorbitant
the Tenement House Act, the market, nor philanthropic organizations proved
sufficient to the task of ensuring healthful, safe and affordable housing.
In 1894 a State legislative committee reported that while New York City
ranked sixth in the world in population, it ranked first in density --
with the Lower East Side surpassing a section of Bombay which contained
the world's highest known population density.29 Crowded,
unsanitary housing again prompted legislative action. The Tenement House
Act of 1901 mandated running water on each floor and a water closet in
each apartment consisting of three rooms or more. Every room was required
to have an exterior window and each apartment was required to have sufficient
means of egress to limit the risk of death in a fire.30
remained an intractable problem. Protests and rent strikes involving thousands
of apartments erupted in 1904 and 1908.31 By
the end of World War I conditions again worsened prompting widespread demands
for greater protection.
War I Controls
Emergency Rent Laws of 1920 were adopted in the wake of dramatic increases
in dispossess proceedings and a collapse in new construction caused by
a diversion of resources to the war effort. In 1919, some 96,623 dispossess
proceedings were docketed in municipal courts, with an increasing number
being commenced in the Fall of that year.32 In
the first eight months of 1920 another 87,442 such proceedings were commenced.33 Construction
levels were equally bleak. In 1915, 1,365 tenements went up containing
23,617 units, but by 1919 only 89 tenements were built, containing 1,481
apartments.34 A highly organized
and politicized tenant movement launched a series of protests and rent
strikes, demanding relief from spiraling rents resulting from the shortage.35
events coincided with the period known as the "Red Scare." Five Socialists
had been elected to the State Assembly. A debate ensued as to whether the
Socialists should be allowed to take their seats. In March of 1920, New
York City's Mayor John Hylan, traveled to Albany, urging adoption of a
series of rent bills. There he told the legislators, "[y]ou gentlemen are
trying to clear the Assembly of socialism. Let me tell you that you must
first eradicate the causes of socialism, and one of the greatest of these
is the speculating landlord."36 The
Assembly expelled its Socialist members -- the most ardent advocates of
rent and eviction protections. A few hours later, absent votes from the
Socialists, it adopted New York's first rent control laws.37
rent laws" were extended and strengthened in September of 1920. Under these
laws the courts of New York State were effectively charged with the administration
of rents. When challenged by tenants, rent increases were reviewed according
to a standard of "reasonableness". Effectively, any increase over that
of a prior year was presumed "unjust, unreasonable and oppressive" unless
an owner could demonstrate otherwise. Landlords seeking to justify rent
increases were generally required to submit a Bill of Particulars setting
forth gross income and expense figures. As observed in the 1980 Report
of the New York State Temporary Commission on Rental Housing:
definition of 'reasonableness' was subject to judicial interpretation.
Conflicting opinions and an absence of uniform interpretation and ruling
cannot be considered surprising in light of the fact that there were
no statutory guidelines and the courts had to determine in the first
instance such questions as: what was properly includable in income and
operating expenses; or, the consideration to be given to extraordinary
repairs, contemplated future repairs, vacancies, bad debts, depreciation,
and interest on mortgages. Perhaps, most important, the courts were required
to determine what constituted a proper or fair rate of return to the
landlord, and became thereby the 'administrative agency' administering
the rent laws of 1920.38
housing shortage of the early 1920's was severe. Vacancy rates fell below
1% from 1920 through 1924. To induce new construction, the City exempted
all properties built between 1920 to 1926 from property taxation until
1932. In addition, all units constructed after September 27, 1920 were
exempt from the rent laws. Notwithstanding the presence of relatively strict
rent protections for existing units, new construction proceeded at a record
pace, with hundreds of thousands of new apartments being added to the stock
before the decade ended. By 1928 the City's vacancy rate was approaching
8% and rent regulations were no longer needed. A phase out began in 1926
in the form of luxury decontrol -- exempting units renting for more than
$20 per room per month. After 1928 apartments renting for $10 or more,
per room, per month were excluded. The Rent Laws of 1920 expired completely
in June 1929, although limited protections against unjust evictions were
I: Rent Regulation and Construction of New Housing
absence of rent controls during the Great Depression is instructive in
one critical respect. Despite tragic levels of unemployment, widespread
tenant unrest39 and severe
affordability problems, rent controls offered little as a policy option
because rents were already depressed and vacancies remained high. As summarized
by one housing historian:
the early 1930s, a massive loss of income by all city residents threw
housing markets into disarray; tenants could not pay their rents, landlords
could not meet their mortgages, and courts received a flood of eviction
and foreclosure cases they lacked the capacity to process or enforce.40
affordability problems on the rise, tenant households began doubling up.
According to a 1946 Report of the Joint Legislative Committee to Recodify
the Multiple Dwelling Law, the housing shortage began to re-appear as early
as 1936 but the shortage was largely concealed because economic conditions
had forced many families to double-up.
II: The Overcrowding Problem Today
War II Era Controls
1942, under the Emergency Price Control Act, the federal government established
a price regulation system nationwide in response to the prospect of wartime
shortages and inflation. The setting of rents under this system was left
to the discretion of the Administrator of the Office of Price Administration
("OPA"), subject to review by a special court known as the Emergency Court
of Appeals. Under the new system, the implementation of rent control in
New York did not begin until 1943. According to one account:
the advent of World War II and the imposition of federal rent control
in selected defense areas elsewhere in the United States, the city's
left and liberal housing groups lobbied Mayor Fiorella LaGuardia and
President Roosevelt's [OPA] to freeze rents. Initially, OPA refused,
claiming that the city's rental vacancy rate was too high to justify
rent control. In the wake of an August 1943 Harlem riot and threatened
rent strikes if landlords did not exercise voluntary restraints, however,
OPA changed its mind and imposed a wartime rent freeze...41
November 1, 1943 rents were frozen for all rental units in New York City
at rent levels that had existed on March 1, 1943. These rents were subsequently
adjusted by the Administrator as conditions warranted and in accordance
with federal legislative intent.
last minute extensions of the law in 1944 and 1945, and a belated extension
in 1946 (described below), the Emergency Price Control Act expired in 1947.
Prior to its expiration Congress adopted the Housing and Rent Act of 1947
which preserved rent controls into 1948. This Law did not regulate units
which were certified for occupancy after February 1, 1947.42 Subsequent
acts further extended these controls until the federal government's involvement
with rent regulation in any city was fully terminated in 1953.
1946 the State of New York enacted "stand by" legislation to preserve rent
controls in the event that federal controls expired. In 1950 this legislation
was activated with a rent freeze and the establishment of a commission
to review rent regulation. In 1951, in anticipation of the withdrawal of
federal controls, the State adopted a system of rent regulation similar
to the federal system, and the administration of rents for 2.1 million
apartments was transferred to the State from the federal government.
a pattern that would continue for fifty years, the 1940's witnessed a series
of "hair's breadth escapes for controls."43 The
first Extension Act [of federal controls] was approved on June 30, 1944,
the very day initial controls were to have expired. The second Extension
Act was adopted on June 30, 1945 - also the last day to act - extending
controls to June 30, 1946. According to one account, "to pass this extension
in time Congress went to considerable lengths. On June 30th the House of
Representatives met at 10:00 A.M. (the Senate had already passed the extension),
and at 1:25 P.M. the resolution was approved by the House, rushed to a
waiting airplane and flown to Kansas City for President Truman's signature." One
year later, on June 29th, 1946 Congress failed to override President Truman's
veto of the 1946 Extension Act. By midnight on June 30th 1946 the nation
would be "without price or rent controls - except in New York State...
On the afternoon of Sunday, June 30, 1946, Joseph D. McGoldrick, former
New York City Comptroller, was attending the christening of his third daughter.
He was rushed to a waiting State Commerce Department airplane, which flew
him to Albany. When he arrived at 9:00 P.M., he was taken immediately to
Governor Dewey's office, where he was sworn in as temporary State Housing
Rent Commissioner. Just exactly two hours and thirty-seven minutes before
the expiration of controls, he issued 'State Housing Regulation Number
1' which acted to continue federal controls wherever they had existed in
New York under federal law." One month later, responding to President Truman's
objections to the 1946 extension bill (objections largely concerning agricultural
commodities), Congress adopted a revised bill which the President signed
on July 25, 1946, thus re-establishing federal controls.
the State system made operational in 1951, owners who claimed hardship
in meeting building expenses were permitted to apply for rent increases
in addition to those directly authorized by statute. A minimum fair net
annual return of 4% on equalized assessed value was allowed.44
1953 an across the board rent adjustment of 15% over the rent levels which
existed on March 1, 1943 was adopted. This applied to all rents that had
not yet been increased by at least this much since 1943. In addition, the
minimum fair net annual return was increased from 4% to 6%. The equalization
rates of 1954 became the base rates for use in computing equalized assessed
value in fair net annual return proceedings.
1958 some 600 units in NYC with rents exceeding $416.66 per month ($500
per month if furnished) and which met certain other criteria, were decontrolled
as luxury units.
1961 the fair net annual return provisions were refined to prevent certain
abuses. In addition, the use of 1954 equalization rates on assessed value
as a base for reviewing fair net annual return applications was eliminated
in favor of using current equalization rates. Since recognition of newer
assessments and equalization rates, in effect, raised the recognized values
of these properties, many owners now qualified for rent increases. Consequently, "hardship" applications
were filed in record numbers.
to the State Commission's 1980 report, the rent increases resulting from
the recognition of new assessment and equalization rates were criticized
by tenants as unfair, and this "issue soon spilled over into and became
the principal issue in that year's mayoralty campaign". In order to prevent
the State from engineering future rent increases of this sort, "the candidates
of both parties pledged to demand self-determination and local administration
of rent control within the City of New York".45 Consequently,
in 1962 the duty of administering rent control along with the power to
enact local controls was transferred to the City. Post-1946 buildings,
which had been exempted under federal and state controls, remained so under
as noted in the Commission's report, "the maximum rents as they existed
under state law, which, in effect, were the 1943 freeze date rents adjusted
pursuant to intervening statutes, became the maximum rents under the City
City controls "[t]he fair net annual return (hardship) provision required
the use of 'current assessed' instead of 'current equalized assessed' value
as the valuation base for computing an owner's entitlement to a rent adjustment.
Also, rent increases pursuant to the fair net annual return provision were
limited to a maximum of 15 percent biennially. Local Law 30 of 1970 (which
established the MBR [Maximum Base Rent] program) re-instituted the use
of current equalized value in the fair net annual return provision."47 The
MBR system later linked the removal of certain housing code violations
to eligibility for rent increases, a requirement that still applies for
buildings with rent controlled units.
1971 the State adopted several new laws limiting the continuance of rent
control. One of these provided for the decontrol of rental units vacated
after June 30, 1971. This "vacancy decontrol" law remains in effect, although
most decontrolled units now fall under rent stabilization. Another 1971
law, popularly known as the "Urstadt" law, prohibited the City from adopting
new rent regulations more stringent than those already in existence. This
law also remains in effect.
should be added that the City adopted various forms of luxury decontrol
for certain high rent units in both 1964 and 1968. It should also be noted
that there was a brief return to federal rent regulation under the Nixon
administration's wage and price program with a 90 day freeze in late 1971.
remain only about 50,000 rent controlled units in the City. With vacancy
decontrol in effect, the City loses about 6,000 rent controlled units
per year. The remaining units are generally occupied by persons who
have remained in possession of their apartments since June 30, 1971,
or by their surviving spouse, adult lifetime partner or other family
member. The median age of rent controlled tenants, as of 1999, was
seventy (70). The median annual income for rent controlled households
in 1998 was seventeen thousand dollars ($17,000). In general, this
is a dwindling stock occupied by an elderly, low-income population.
base rent" or "MBR" for each rent controlled unit is
adjusted biennially according a general adjustment factor established
by the States Division of Housing and Community Renewal. These
units are also subject to a 7.5% cap on annual rent increases. This
cap produces what is known as the "maximum collectible rent" or
the "MCR." The MCR - the amount a tenant actually pays for
a given apartment - often reaches the MBR. When this occurs, adjustments
in the maximum collectible rent cannot exceed the maximum base rent.
For example, if the maximum collectible rent is $500, a 7.5% increase
would bring the rent to $537.50. But, if the maximum base rent is $510
the collectible rent cannot exceed this base. In this situation both
the MCR and the MBR are now $510. If the biennial MBR is then increased
by 5%, both the MCR and the MBR will increase by 5% resulting in a
rent paid of $535.50.
It is important
to note that the Rent Guidelines Board has no role in the adjustment
of rent controlled rents. Most rent controlled units will fall under
rent stabilization upon vacancy, however, and the Board does have a
special role in helping to establish initial rents for these decontrolled
units. This process is described here under
the discussion of Fair Market Rent Appeals and here under
the heading Special Guidelines and Decontrolled Units.
History: Part II>>
(Part I) (Part II) (Part
Introduction to the NYC Rent Guidelines Board
Table of Contents
constitutionality of rent regulation is discussed in detail here.
from The Life Millennium, A University Education, p. 89, Life Books
H. Dunbar, State Regulation of Prices and Rates, 9 Harv. Q.J. Econ.
1, 4 (1895)
Ely, The Guardian of Every other Right, A Constitutional History of
Property Rights at 19-20 (1992).
Blackmar, Manhattan for Rent 1785-1850, 30 (1989).
might argue, however, that laws favoring conversion to co-operative and
condominium ownership do, in fact, promote the gradual, albeit partial,
elimination of traditional leasehold tenures in apartment buildings.
21 Burrows & Wallace, Gotham:
A History of New York City to 1898, p. 587.
Richard, A History of Housing in New York City, p. 21. Id.
1858 there were about 25,000 unemployed tenement dwellers with approximately
100,000 family members affected. Just over 480,000 people lived in tenement
housing. Id at 22.
Richard, A History of Housing In New York City p. 21.
26 Riis, How
the Other Half Lives, chap. 1, at 4.
at p. 39.
31 Lawson, The
Tenant Movement in New York City 1904-1984 p.39-50.
Report of the New York State Temporary Commission on Rental Housing,
36 Maeder, Roofs,
Revolt of the Tenants, March-April 1920, NY Daily News 2/4/2000.
Lawson, pp. 95 - 127, (Chap. 3, From Eviction Resistance to Rent Control,
Naison) analyzing the eruption of rent strikes and tenant activism in Harlem,
the Bronx, Brooklyn and the Lower East Side in the 1930s.
Teitz & Skaburskis, Rent Control - Regulation and The Rental Housing
Market 1998, p. 154.
1, 1947 is a critical date. Until 1969 all housing built after this date
was exempt from any kind of rent regulation. Generally, references to "post-war" housing
are references to buildings with certificates of occupancy issued after
this date. Conversely, references to "pre-war" housing are to buildings
built before this date. Virtually no housing was constructed between 1942
and 1947, so references to "pre" war housing are not entirely inaccurate.
series of events was described by Frederic Berman, former housing commissioner
in the Lindsey administration, in a special 1968 report entitled A History
of Rent Control in New York City. The quotes are taken from that report.
of property taxes involves the adjustment of real property assessments
(valuations) within a taxing district in order to achieve a uniform proportion
between assessed values and actual cash values of real estate so that all
property tax owners are taxed at an equal rate. See Wurtzebach and Miles, Modern
Real Estate, glossary p.742.
the Commission's Report at 1-62.
the Commission's Report at 1-64.