"Taxpayer" building

bapopik at AOL.COM bapopik at AOL.COM
Fri Aug 26 16:43:32 UTC 2005

Anyone have anything on "taxpayer"?  The following is Henry Stern's recent missive:
Looking back at the oyster sign reminds me of the old neighborhood, and how it has changed  over the years.  The apartment buildings look the same on the outside, although many have been rehabbed by the city.  There are still taxpayers on the business streets, which contain stores, and sometime living quarters for the merchants over the store. That custom is definitely passé.  In this context, 'taxpayers' are not people who pay taxes, as one might normally assume.  Taxpayers are one or two story buildings, erected to earn enough income to pay the real estate taxes on the property, and easy to demolish for an apartment house or other large structure.  Brooklyn and Queens have many taxpayers of this sort, some in areas that are unlikely to be developed..
    2. U.S. colloq. A building just large enough to provide an income sufficient to meet the expenses it incurs; hence, any small building. 
  1921 B. MATTHEWS Ess. on Eng. vi. 134 A resplendent electric sign on top of a two-story tax-payer. 1950 N.Y. Times 28 Dec. (Late city ed.) 39/8 The three-story tax~payer at 288 Jackson Avenue in Jersey City, N.J...has been sold.

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