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NYC Letter Wrongly Claims Legit Co-op, Condo Owners Ineligible for Abatement

Frank Lovece in Board Operations on March 15, 2013

New York City

March 15, 2013

Owners began receiving the DoF letter last week, Crain's New York Business reported. "Our records show that this unit is not your primary residence, so your abatement will be phased out," the letter states. 

Warren Schreiber, co-op board president of Bay Terrace Cooperative Section I, in Queens, and co-president of the Presidents' Co-op and Condo Council, told the magazine that 45 of his roughly 200 apartments received the letter, 35 of which are primary residence. Minus the tax abatement, each unit would face about $1,000 in additional tax, he said. "Some people have been in their homes, 20, 30 or 40 years and are getting these letters," he added. "I think what happened is that the Department of Finance's records are out of date, but it's causing a lot of confusion and chaos."

The renewed abatement, signed into law Feb. 1 by Governor Andrew Cuomo, for the first time disallows the tax break to owners not using the apartment as a primary residence. For these non-resident owners, the abatement is being phased out in two stages. For tax year 2012/2013, they will receive 50 percent of the amount they would received before the abatement was amended, and for 2013/2014, 25 percent. New York State views any apartment owned solely by a trust as having a non-occupier owner.

Those wishing the contest the DoF claim must respond by April 12, 2013, in a letter to NYC Co-op/Condo Abatement, P.O. Box 1194, Maplewood, NJ 07040.

A Department of Finance spokesman told Crain's it had enrolled 230,000 of the citys 360,000 condominiums and co-ops using available data, and mailed 130,000 letters to homeowners it believed were ineligible.


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