Published: Summer 1997
CONDOS & CO-OPS DO WELL LEGISLATIVELY IN A DIFFICULT YEAR
Continuing their excellent trend of acknowledging and correcting unfair
treatment of cooperatives and condominiums, the City and State are enacting
several significant laws this year. Most notable is a State law which
will enable condominiums to borrow money for capital improvements. This
important new law was introduced by Senator Roy Goodman and Assemblyman
Dan Feldman; they worked hard to ensure its passage this year so that
condominiums throughout the state would no longer have to delay much needed
work. See On the Money.
Albany also righted a longstanding wrong by allowing veterans living
in cooperatives to use their benefits and exemptions to purchase cooperative
apartments, and to enjoy property tax abatements. It also reduced the
parking tax for co-op shareholders and condo unit owners who garage their
vehicles in the buildings where they live. Assemblyman Ivan Lafayette
championed both of these bills, having worked for several years on each.
When the Governor's complex "STAR" proposal for reduction in
school taxes was passed, it did extend eligibility to homeowners whose
primary residences are cooperatives. Furthermore, this program appears
to provide fairly for school funds for the City of New York.
The City Council took a step to help cooperatives and condominiums cope
with the formidable 18% interest rate on delinquent property tax or water
and sewer taxes by extending eligibility for the 15-day grace period to
include virtually all residential properties. It also quickly passed the
local legislation needed so that the State authorized veterans' property
tax abatement can begin in the next fiscal year.
PROPERTY TAX REFORM PROGRESSES SLOWLY
We would be remiss if we failed to mention that no legislation has yet
been proposed to bring permanent fairness to property taxes for cooperatives
and condominiums. However, we are advised that the Department of Finance
and the City Council are working to develop such legislation and have
invited comments and suggestions from CNYC and the Action Committee for
Reasonable Real Estate Taxes.
Fortunately, homeowners in cooperatives and condominiums have now begun
to reap the benefits of the 1996 legislation granting three
years of growing tax abatements to homeowners in cooperatives
and condominiums -- a law which your calls and letters helped
achieve. After exhaustive data collection and processing,
the Department of Finance credited the first abatement dollars
on July property tax bills. An important meeting of the Action
Committee for Reasonable Real Estate Taxes, to be held September
24th at 2 West 64th Street in Manhattan, will include specific
suggestions for the distribution of the abatement to appropriate
The Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums and the Action
Committee for Reasonable Real Estate Taxes will continue to work tirelessly
for reasonable and timely legislation that will continue the process of
tax reform. See the latest report from the Action
ACTION COMMITTEE NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT
CNYC thanks all its members and subscribers who have made voluntary contributions
to the Action Committee to fund its educational and advocacy activities.
Without their generous support, the Action Committee could never have
achieved so much so quickly. With the crusade for long-term reform still
ahead of us, your continuing contributions to the Action Committee will
be greatly appreciated. CNYC member buildings annually contribute one
dollar per apartment unit; professionals have contributed $25 to $500.
Contributions can be sent to the Action Committee for Reasonable Real
Estate Taxes at 250 West 57th Street, New York, NY 10019. With your
continued help we will achieve tax fairness!
CNYC NEEDS MEMBER HELP WITH DIVERSE LEGISLATIVE GOALS
CNYC continues to pursue a wide variety of legislative issues, which
have been reviewed in previous issues of this Newsletter. Your help has
repeatedly been requested for the grass roots support that is so necessary
to legislative success. CNYC will continue to call upon you as we seek:
- to further improve the ability of condominiums to protect their income
- to reform the conversion process so that new cooperatives and condominiums
are viable from their inception;
- to affirm in the Congress that Section 277 of the Internal Revenue
Code does not apply to cooperatives.