Everyone complains about New York City’s arcane system of taxing real estate. Here’s your chance to do something about it.
The Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform, appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, will hold its seventh public hearing today at 6:30 p.m. at the Borough of Manhattan Community College’s Performing Arts Center (Theatre Two), at 199 Chambers Street in Tribeca.
Considering that the neighborhood is home to the city’s most expensive zip code, and considering that New York University’s Furman Center has issued a report exposing major undervaluation of co-ops and condos, especially in Manhattan, tonight’s meeting should produce some fireworks.
Anyone wishing to speak will be allotted three minutes, and may be asked follow-up questions by members of the panel. Speakers are advised to sign up here before the hearing.
The Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums has an action committee on this and other issues. Sign up here to join the committee.
In the last fiscal year, the city collected $25 billion in taxes from property owners, which is 30 percent of all city revenues. Since there has been no talk of cutting property taxes’ share of the city budget, any reform is sure to produce winners and losers among the city’s property owners. In a lawsuit, a group called Tax Equity Now New York argues that the current property tax system is racially discriminatory and penalizes people with lower incomes.
In its report, the Furman Center noted: “New York State Law allows some of New York City’s most expensive apartments to be valued at a fraction of their market price, and thereby pay a much lower tax rate than other types of properties. In 2012, 50 New York City co-ops were sold for more than the Department of Finance’s property valuation of their entire building.”
The Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform is expected to make its recommendations early next year. Final action will be in the hands of the state legislature.
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