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Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums
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Published: Autumn 2012

MAKE CANDIDATES AWARE OF COOPERATIVES & CONDOMINIUMS

DEMAND THEIR SUPPORT OF THE ABATEMENT EXTENDER

There is a presidential election this year, one third of the United State Senate and all of the House of Representatives will stand for election, and, in New York State, all the seats in the Assembly and the State Senate are up for election. It is likely that there will be people campaigning in your neighborhood, seeking to shake your hand at subway stops, to talk with you at street fairs, to ask your support for their candidacy.

Please find time to take advantage of the important opportunity that this offers you. Ask every candidate (and surrogate) what they plan to do for housing cooperatives and condominiums. Let them know – particularly if they are running for the State Senate or the Assembly – how very concerned you are about the property tax abatement program. Tell them about your cooperative or condominium. How tightly its budget is stretched already! How devastating it would be to lose the well-deserved abatement of property taxes.

Help the candidates understand that your cooperative or condominium is an important constituent, that it houses families committed to this city and their community, that co-op and condo home owners vote in far more statistically significant numbers that the general public, and that you want and need elected officials who share your concerns and understand your issues.

ASK HELP WITH UNFUNDED MANDATES
The cost involved in maintaining cooperatives and condominiums in New York City today continue to grow. In addition to soaring property taxes (see pages 1-5), compliance is required with a growing number of well-intentioned laws and rules relating promoting energy efficiency (see page 6) clean air (page 7), preservation of the past (see page 11). Each of these imposes additional costs on the cooperative or condominium.

At the same time, incentive opportunities are becoming fewer and fewer; the J-51 program that helped owners defray the cost of capital improvements has sunset. Even if it is renewed, it will exclude all but a very few cooperatives and condominiums (see page 10). There is some NYSERDA funding available for energy saving improvements (see page 11), but these are not sufficient to help all the buildings that need quickly to make changes. The growing trend toward creating landmarked districts around the city also greatly increases the cost – both in time and in dollars – of any alterations to these properties.

Your discussions with candidates and elected officials should mention how your cooperative or condominium is affected by unfunded mandates. Try to raise awareness among candidates of the cost that the laws they write can impose upon buildings like yours. A careful evaluation of financial impact might bring great improvements in future laws and regulations. Suggest that ways of offsetting the cost of required measures be incorporated into all future mandates.

 
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