We learned on Thursday that Di Fara Pizza in Brooklyn had been locked down by the state government for failing to pay more than $150,000 in delinquent taxes. This led Big Apple Mayor Bill de Blasio to take to social media, vowing to help them reopen because Di Fara is “the best” pizza joint in the area. The Democratic civil war flared up anew when Governor Andrew Cuomo fired back, saying that the state wasn’t about to forgive their tax debt, no matter how good their pizza might be.
Well, that situation lasted all of two days. As of this weekend, the doors are open at Di Fara and people are standing in line for slices. So what happened? (CBS New York)
Pizza lovers all over New York are rejoicing. New York’s tax collectors shut down one of Brooklyn’s most iconic pizza spots two days ago, but CBS2’s Dave Carlin reports their oven is back open.
If long lines on a Midwood street corner didn’t give it away, the dough at Di Fara Pizza is rising again.
“I’m feeling pleased, my best pizza is back and I can come here any day to get a slice,” Brooklyn resident Baqir Ahmad said.
In a rare turn of events, we can report that the city and state governments actually handled something correctly for a change.
What New York City (and the Mayor) did right, in this case, came in the form of doing absolutely nothing. They didn’t interfere in Di Fara’s tax situation or pull any strings.
What the state did correctly was have the taxman sit down with Di Fara’s owners and renegotiate the payment schedule for the back taxes. They aren’t letting them off the hook but simply giving them more time to pay up. As it turns out, the owners had been making payments on the taxes for years, but recently missed a payment, prompting the closure.
This was the best solution all the way around. It’s bad enough that the Mayor is going around endorsing one business over all of its competitors, but if they somehow forgave some or all of the tax debt that was owed, it would send a terrible message. New York’s business taxes are far too high, but if that’s the going rate then everyone has to be treated equally and pay what they owe. Failing to enforce this would have been a case of picking winners and losers taken to a ridiculous extreme.
Of course, there’s a difference between agreeing to a payment schedule and actually being able to make the payments. If Di Fara goes on to miss additional payments, we’ll be right back where we started and the Democratic civil war will probably fire right back up again.
Pizza Rat was unavailable for comment.