By Jennifer Glickel
MANHATTAN — As if six-figure-plus annual salaries weren't enough, the heads of some of New York’s most prestigious museums live in rent-free, tax-free housing, the New York Times reported.
American Museum of Natural History president Ellen Futter, doesn't pay rent on the $5 million apartment on the East Side that the institution bought for her, according to the paper.
And Thomas Campbell, director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art lives across Fifth Avenue from the museum in a $4 million co-op apartment owned by the institution, the paper reported.
Not only do a handful of Manhattan’s major museum’s put up their directors in free housing in some of the borough’s priciest areas, but the directors do not pay income tax on the value of the housing, using a loophole in tax law that categorizes the apartments as business accommodations in which the directors must live, according to the Times.
The institutions can label these apartments as business expenses even if they are off-site of the museum because they're used for business meetings and wooing donors.
Other cultural institutions, including the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Morgan Library and Museum, do not adhere to such practices, viewing their directors’ housing as taxable income like any other, despite their apartments’ use for business gatherings, the paper reported.