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Real Estate Assessments Up, Property Taxes Sure to Follow

New York City

Assessment Bounce
Jan. 31, 2019

To no one’s surprise, the city is worth more than it was a year ago – by some $72 billion, a 5.8 percent leap that brings the city's worth to $1.323 trillion, the New York Post reports

Meanwhile, the new Department of Finance tentative assessment roll for the upcoming 2019-2020 fiscal year jumped 8.3 percent, to $259.7 billion. Property taxes are paid based on a complex calculation that includes the assessed value, and each building’s is individually assessed. 

For Class 1 buildings – one- to three-family homes – assessments rose 4.3 percent, to $21 billion. At 4.9 percent, Manhattan’s Class 1 buildings rose the most in assessed value. 

The assessed value of Class 2 properties – co-ops, condos, and rental buildings – rose 10.7 percent, to $97.7 billion. Brooklyn’s Class 2 properties experienced the biggest jump in assessed value, at 17 percent

Now is the time for co-op and condo boards to get in touch with their tax certiorari lawyer. Assessment challenges for most properties must be filed with the Tax Commission by March 1; Class 1 homeowners’ having a deadline of March 15.

The new assessments were unveiled as Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform continues to hold hearings. Its final recommendations are due in the spring. The need for reform to the city’s opaque, inequitable, and much-maligned system of property taxation came out during a recent commission hearing. One of the invited speakers, professor David Merriman of the University of Illinois, was so “humbled and confused” by the city’s property tax system that he said he felt like an alien.

“It’s a massive and complex system,” Merriman said. “When I look at the New York City property tax system, it doesn’t seem to me to have a clear rationale. I look at it and say, ‘Why would you want to do that?’”

It's a question New Yorkers have been wrestling with for decades.

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