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Habitat Magazine June 2020 free digital issue




Ingenious Artwork Illustrates City's Property Tax Disparities

Lower Manhattan

Tax Art
July 21, 2016

A fascinating new installation at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in lower Manhattan has made high art out of a lowdown and dirty fact: New York City’s property tax assessments favor the super-rich at the expense of middle-class homeowners and, especially, renters.

Works in the show produced by SITU Studio zero in on Central Park West and Park Avenue as places where real estate values and property taxes are especially skewed in favor of the rich, CityLab reports. Wavy acrylic bands over scale models of the buildings along Central Park West illustrate the gap between values and taxes. In spots, the wave looks like a tsunami. As SITU Studio writes:

“One of the most expensive recorded sales in our section was $33,000,000 for a single co­-op unit in an 111-unit building on Central Park West. The city assessed the entire market value of the building – all 111 units­­ – at $60,722,00 for the fiscal year 2017, only $28,000,000 over the sales price for just a single apartment in a luxury building of many. The sale price of that $33,000,000 apartment is nearly 60 times its value assessed by the [Department of Finance] for tax purposes.”

As we reported in our March issue, property tax reform has proven “just too political” for New York City politicians.

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