That’s how much Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- our former junior Senator -- cost the city of New York with her flip-flop on taxing foreign governments, according to the New York Post.
Under Clinton, the state department has reversed a longtime policy that required foreign governments to pay taxes on some diplomatic residences – just after the city recently won a federal court ruling requiring India and Mongolia to shell out $46 million in back taxes.
The policy, which was changed on June 23, also came after the Hungarian government wrote the city saying it was prepared to clear up its old tax debt totaling $32.5 million for its consulate on 52nd Street.
Hungary had pledged to feed the tax man by July 1, but after the State Dept.’s ruling they said they wouldn’t be paying anything, the Post reported.
As senator, Clinton had repeatedly spoken out in favor of the city's right to collect the taxes. The $260 million figure represents the total amount in back taxes by all foreign countries.
Patrick Kennedy, undersecretary of state management, told the paper the policy change came about because other counties don’t apply taxes on U.S. properties.
“Those countries have come to us and said, ‘Wait a minute. Why is New York taxing us when we don’t tax you?’” he told the Post, regarding Army bases, FBI offices and State Department housing located in other countries. “This has become a diplomatic irritant. They’ve held up activity at those locations, not given us building permits.”