Make abatement work for middle class
Mar 01, 2012 | 21662 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Editor:

Every four years, the City of New York extends a program granting most co-ops and condo owners a 17.5 percent abatement on their property taxes. This program aims to lower the effective tax rates (total property tax per $100 of market value) of co-ops to bring the rates more in line with those of single-family homeowners.

For many co-ops, especially in the outer boroughs, this program falls well short of its intended goal. At the same time many co-op owners, especially wealthy owners in Manhattan, who already pay lower effective tax rates than single-family homeowners, are seeing their property taxes reduced even further.

In fact the NYC Independent Budget Office (IBO) reports that for the 2006 fiscal year, $156 million of the total $293 million tax abatement was allocated to co-op owners whose effective property taxes were already below those of single-family homeowners.

This year, the City of New York will once again request that the state legislature extend this abatement program for another four years. We should take this opportunity to tailor this abatement in a way that provides more relief to outer borough co-op owners without giving unnecessary tax breaks to those who need it the least.

We have contacted the Assembly and Senate leadership, the Mayor’s office, and the City Council to seek their assistance in remedying this inequity. In the absence of comprehensive property tax reform, this change is the least the City of New York can do to bring fairness to Northeast Queens co-op owners.

Sincerely,

Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein

26th Assembly District

State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky

16th Senate District
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