Published: Spring 1995
The following article appeared
in the Spring 1995 issue of CNYC's quarterly Newsletter.
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Insist the City Begin Work Towards
Formed by CNYC in February 1990 in response to concern over escalating
property taxes, the Action Committee for Reasonable Real Estate Taxes
has been working for the equitable distribution of the New York City tax
levy. It notes that homeowners in cooperatives and condominiums pay three
to five times the property tax of homeowners in single-family dwellings
of comparable value, and that Class 2 (multiple dwellings) and Class 4
(commercial property), representing 52% of total market value, currently
bear 82% of the city's real estate tax burden.
The Action Committee advocates the establishment of two tax classes,
one residential and the other commercial, removing all caps, assessing
all property at full value, and locking in an effective tax rate between
the residential and commercial classes at 1:2. It supports the institution
of circuit breakers to ensure relief for disadvantaged tax payers, and
a pass-through to renters of a portion of the property tax burden.
CNYC thanks Action Committee Chairman Martin Karp for the following update.
TAX REFORM PROPOSED
Last year, City Council Speaker Peter Vallone proposed a tax reduction
for cooperatives and condominiums phased in over 10 years. Mayor Rudolph
Giuliani proposed that such a reduction would begin on July 1, 1995. The
Action Committee for Reasonable Real Estate Taxes has built its 1994-1995
program around these commitments by maintaining a presence, anticipating
the mode of implementation, and being to ready to act when these commitments
Although the Mayor's 1996 Financial Plan originally included tax relief
for cooperatives and condominiums for the fiscal year starting July 1,
1995, he announced on April 27 that he would defer this initiative for
a year. At the publication of this Newsletter, neither Speaker Vallone
nor members of the City Council had commented on this issue. Your letters,
calls, and faxes may help keep this modest reduction in the 1995 budget.
AFFIRM YOUR SUPPORT FOR TAX FAIRNESS
At a recent meeting, the Action Committee voted to support a full-court
press to reduce the unfair tax burden on cooperatives and condominiums.
At the same time, the Action Committee continues to work for overall reform
of the New York City property tax structure to assure fair and equal treatment
of all taxpayers.
Your participation is vital to the success of the Action Committee in
bringing fairness to the tax system in our city. Your steady barrage of
letters and calls to the Mayor, Speaker Vallone, and your City Council
representative (all at City Hall, New York, NY 10007) must stress how
very important it is to start now to bring fairness to the tax system.
Thank the Speaker for the reduction he has proposed for cooperatives and
condominiums and ask the Mayor to return to his former position; urge
that they not allow this important reduction to be eliminated from the
budget for fiscal 1996.
Since the proposed change in tax policy requires amendment of the New
York State Real Property Tax Law, please make sure that your Assembly
representative and State Senator are aware that the people living in your
cooperative or condominium need tax relief. For the names of your representatives,
you can contact the League of Women Voters between the hours of 10 AM
and 4 PM at (212) 674-8484.
REDUCTIONS OVER 10 YEARS TO BRING
CO-OPS & CONDOS IN LINE WITH OTHER HOMES
There are about 488,000 co-op and condo units in the city, which contribute
$1.11 billion to the tax levy. Thus, the average apartment's annual tax
bill is currently $2,275. On completion of the 10-year reform program,
if all things remain the same, this bill would be reduced to $1,435. By
way of comparison, the average tax bill for a Class 1 property is presumed
to remain at $1,380. Mayor Giuliani and Speaker Vallone recognized that
this is not a revenue-neutral resolution of the tax inequity. But they
have also acknowledged how much homeowners in cooperatives and condominiums
contribute to the stability and viability of this city, and they understand
the need for treating us more fairly.
The Action Committee is currently engaged in projecting the impact of
the tax reduction, considering factors such as borough, neighborhood,
building type, and so on, both to be able to inform members of the outlook
and to be able to influence the legislative proposals. We thank all those
who replied to its questionnaire providing information from recent appraisals;
your data has been most helpful in our research.