STANDING UP FOR COOPERATIVES & CONDOMINIUMS
The Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums is a constant advocate for cooperatives and condominium. We help boards understand their roles and perform them well. We work to familiarize lawmakers and government officials with the cooperative and condominium forms of home ownership, so that our needs are considered when legislation and regulations are promulgated.
DEFENDING THE SPECIAL STATUS OF OWNER OCCUPIED HOUSING
As multiple dwellings, cooperatives and condominiums are appropriately subject to many city laws. But CNYC has been successful in distinguishing for lawmakers the many ways in which cooperatives and condominiums differ from rental housing. As a result, clear distinctions are increasingly being made for owner occupied units new legislation is written.
SEEKING PROPERTY TAX FAIRNESS
New York City’s complex property tax structure is acknowledged to treat home owners in cooperatives and condominiums less advantageously than more conventional home owners who live in one, two and three family houses. In 1990, CNYC formed the Action Committee for Reasonable Real Estate Taxes to work for property tax reform to deal fairly and equitably with all New York City taxpayers. In 1996, an abatement program for home owners in cooperatives and condominiums was put in place to bridge a portion of the tax inequity. This abatement program was to be a temporary step on the way to tax fairness. It has thrice been extended and is now due to sunset on June 30,2008.
CNYC has tried to keep this impending deadline on the radar screen of the Department of Finance, where a property tax reform plan would originate. In the absence of any new plan, CNYC will push for another extension of the abatement program, and will seek to have it signed into law sufficiently early in the spring, so that there will be no break in this important benefit (see pages 5 and 7). As this campaign takes hold, CNYC will surely call upon members to make calls and send letters in support of the legislation.
KEEPING BAD THINGS FROM HAPPENING
In the City Council, angry anti-coop legislation has been proposed that would have required cooperatives to give reasons when rejecting a prospective purchaser. Disguised as ‘Human Rights’ legislation, Intro 119 garnered support from a large number of Council members. Fortunately, Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Housing and Buildings Committee Chair Erik Dilan recognized that the proposed law was extremely punitive, that it betrayed a lack of understanding of cooperatives. Neither was inclined to bring this proposed legislation to the floor of the Council.
Meanwhile, CNYC and its sister organizations throughout the city asked their members to get involved in this important issue. Cooperatives wrote letter and met with their Council representatives. They described the need for the admissions process in cooperatives and pointed to the many existing laws that offer ample recourse if anyone felt they were victims of unlawful discrimination. Throughout the city local Planning Boards adopted resolutions opposing Intro 119. Several of the Council members who had been supporters of the legislation removed their names from it. Shareholders in cooperatives, working together, educating their lawmakers, have turned around an initiative which could have undermined cooperative living.
THE POWER OF THE PEOPLE
With the help of its members, CNYC hopes to continue to be successful in promoting needed legislation (see page 1), ensuring that laws recognize the special status of cooperatives and condominiums and their resident owners, and preventing detrimental laws from being passed. Together we can accomplish great things.