More co–op and condo owners will now have the opportunity to join a previously expired tax abatement program, thanks to a bill signed into law earlier this month, Qns.com reports.
The J–51 tax abatement, which helps co-ops and condos make costly capital improvements, now allows properties with an assessed value of up to $40,000 to join the program. Previously, the tax abatement, which expired on June 30, was available only to units with an assessed value of up to $35,000. That number, according to numerous lawmakers, didn’t match the increasing cost of living.
The extension and expansion of the abatement was largely the work of two Queens lawmakers. Senator Toby Ann Stavisky of Flushing introduced the bill in the state Senate and Assemblyman Edward Braunstien of Bayside introduced it in the Assembly. After passing in both houses, it was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo earlier this month.
Co-op and condo boards have used the tax program to defray the costs of roof repairs, electrical improvements, window replacements, installing new elevators, and other structural enhancements.
“The J–51 program makes it possible for housing co-ops to maintain and improve their properties,” says Warren Schreiber, co–president of the Co–op and Condo Council. “If not for this program, the entire financial burden of capital improvements would fall on the shoulders of middle-income shareholders. Extending the J–51 program will help affordable co-op housing to remain affordable.”
Bob Friedrich, president of Glen Oaks Village, the largest garden apartment co–op in New York, celebrated the passing of the law. “The J–51 tax exemption program is an important component in helping to keep our affordable housing stock in good condition for its working-class residents,” he says.
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