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Incorrect Tax Abatement Charge Oct 27, 2019

We need some advice if anyone has some suggestions. We both have been living together in our coop for over 25 yrs. My spouse is the original owner (their for over 35 yrs), and we were married 8 yrs ago. Back in Jan 2018, I was made a shareholder. Sometime in March of this year, all shareholders received an abatement update from building management. Basically, it said the eligibility requirements for the Co-op Real Estate Tax Abatement have changed due to an amendment of New York State Law. To now qualify for the abatement, your apartment must be your primary residence. It was also mentioned that shareholders whose status was in question would be receiving a form to fill out. If the apartment is not your primary residence, then you are required to pay this operating assessment in full, with no offset of any abatement.

Shockingly enough, WE received the form days later, and immediately filled it out with the correct information informing them that this was indeed our primary residence for many years. We don't even have summer home! The representative from building management even knows my spouse and how long he's been a resident. The coop is fully paid off and we are on auto-pay with our maintenance.

Weeks later, our monthly bill arrives and there's a surcharge to our maintenance for over 2000.00! It was the abatement tax! We called building management and they said "oh, that happened to a few residents in various buildings - that's an error on NYS's part. I told them we immediately returned the form to your office so why is the state charging us? They looked up our information once more, and figured out how this error occured: apparently, when I went on the lease, it caused some kind of glitch, making it appear we BOTH just moved in. Building management said don't worry, you'll be getting credited.

This has been going on since April! Every month we've received our maintenance bill so far, there's been no credit. We call management, and each time, they tell us they have people actively working on the case, and it will probably be on the next bill, AND it's the state that's slow.

Is this something can we take on ourselves with the state, or do we have to wait for management. I feel like they're tagging us along for a ride. I already asked and was told ...oh no that's between coop management and New York State.

Thank you

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Incorrect Tax Abatement Charge - REAPLLC Oct 28, 2019

From my experience, it does take a while... NYS does make these types of errors and it is important for your manager and you to stay atop of it because it can fall through the cracks if not.
You may also call the City of New York Department of Finance 311 Hot Line help center yourself to check on the status.

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Incorrect Tax Abatement - Marty Oct 28, 2019

I know this seems like a nightmare, but it can be solved. Your problem is quite common. The city often makes mistakes when adding or subtracting a name.

First of all, the co-op real estate abatement is administered by NYC, not NYS. That means you need to contact a city agency to help you. That agency is the Dept of Finance.

The person we dealt with 2 years ago is Sheelah Feinberg. Her email is FeinbergSA@finance.nyc.gov. She was very helpful in resolving our issues, correcting our account, and getting refunds paid to the shareholders who were entitled to receive them.

I would contact her with the subject line reading "Abatement error made. Please help".

I would then describe the situation as you have done here. I will say that it will likely take several months for the error to be corrected, but at least you'll get your foot in the door by contacting Sheila. I know it's hard because you're frustrated and angry, but remain calm and polite with Sheila. She didn't cause the problem, but she'll be helping you fix it, so smile a lot and hang in there.

She will need to send forms to you or more likely, your management company. Ask her and your management company to copy you on every email between her and management, so you can stay in the loop. Those forms will need to be completed and returned to her. The info needed includes your co-op's block and lot numbers. Then the DOF can begin to correct your account and get it where it needs to be.

I think you're being told a story when your mgt company said that the law has changed. It hasn't changed as far as I know. Your apartment ALWAYS had to be your primary residence in order to receive the Co-op R/E abatement.

Please be patient since this is going to take time. But, it will get fixed.

Something you said should be confirmed with Sheila or your mgt company. You became a s/h in Jan 2018. Your husband was already a shareholder. My understanding is that you don't get extra abatement because there's 2 of you living there instead of one. Whether it's your husband alone or you and your husband, your R/E co-op abatement should be same amount - as long as it's the primary residence. Adding your name to the account should not affect the amount received.

Good luck and be patient.

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Another thing... - Marty Oct 29, 2019

I'm giving you a link to see what the abatement change form looks like.

Google "NYC Department of Finance Cooperative Property Tax Abatement Change Form".

The 4th item from the top will say "[XLS] abatement renewal and change form - NYC.gov".

Click on this link and open it. This will be the excel form used to input the changes that you need. At row 39/40 of the excel sheet you'll see the word "Continue". Click on it.

This will put you into Section B. This is the section where the necessary changes need to be input BY YOUR MANAGEMENT COMPANY and given to the Dept of Finance.

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Thank you - JC Oct 30, 2019

Thank you for the input Marty and REAPLLC! This is very helpful. Marty, thank you for the links and the time you took to detail all of this.

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