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Tax Revolt Bills & Cap, p.2


Future legislation aside, Mazel says he wants transparency. The calculation method itself is straightforward, involving comparison with comparable rental buildings in the area, or "comparables." But how Frankel's office chose what comparables to use to calculate the number "is a mystery. There has to be a rational basis. Did he follow the law? Nobody knows. He won’t tell us. There's a lot of discretion in the process. If you're cherrypicking comparables to get a result, something's wrong here."

He says, for example, that Friedrich of Glen Oaks, using the same calculation method as the city, and using his complex's 300 rental apartments as the comparables, came up with a vastly lower assessment valuation than the city. To this end, Councilman Halloran was initiating a Freedom of Information Law request to see the comparables used in the Queens assessments

Stavisky says she's outraged that a Freedom of Information Law request should even be necessary. "The city should provide whatever tax information people ask for. It's taxpayer money," she says.

As for the affected Queens co-ops and condos, the issue remains hot-button. Community Board 7 in Queens plans to address it at its March 24 meeting, which Frankel is scheduled to attend.

"We'll probably get buses to take people over there," says LeHavre president Palladino. "We don’t have a choice. We've seen our sales prices drop drastically. We have more people now delinquent on maintenance than we've ever had. Even a two or three percent increase of [the property] tax will hurt us. If this happens," he says of the 50 percent valuation increase, "I don't know what the  repercussions could be."

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