A bipartisan group of City Council members is pushing to provide owners of co-ops, condos and small homes with their first property-tax rebates since annual $400 relief checks were phased out in 2009 during the heart of the Great Recession, the New York Post reports.
Led by Councilmembers Joe Borelli (R-Staten Island), Selvena Brooks-Powers (D-Queens) and Robert Holden (D-Queens), the 21 pols fired off a letter to Mayor Eric Adams and Council Speaker Adrienne Adams requesting the rebate for owners of one- to three-family homes, condos and co-ops during the fiscal year beginning July 1.
“As you are acutely aware, the economic recession precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a harsh toll on New Yorkers,” the letter states. “This would demonstrate to New Yorkers that we recognize the hardships they continue to face as a result of rising property taxes, and that we are committed to addressing the issue.”
Although the letter doesn’t specify how much relief the rebate should provide, both Holden and Borrelli, the Council’s minority leader, said they believe it should be at least $400.
They also said the timing is right since Adams’ $98.5 billion preliminary budget for fiscal 2023 would increase budget reserves to $6.1 billion — the largest surplus in the city’s history.
Since 2011, property taxes have risen by 52% in New York City — nearly three times the rate of inflation.
Critics say the city’s current property tax system is archaic and unfair because it reduces tax bills for high-priced homes in hotspots like Park Slope, while tax bills for middle-class neighborhoods have steadily increased. A commission to reform that archaic system was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, but it has yet to file its final recommendations.
Holden said a rebate would be a good stop-gap measure until the property tax system is reformed, adding he believes payments should be decided through a “sliding scale” system, where homeowners hit hardest by tax increases, get the biggest rebates.
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