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Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums
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Financial Issues

Publication Date: Summer 2000

RPIE FILING REQUIREMENTS MODIFIED
Commissioner of Finance Andrew S. Eristoff has extended the time for filing Real Property Income and Expense (RPIE) Forms which were due on September 1, 2000. As a result of this extension, RPIE 1999 forms can be postmarked by September 15, 2000 and still be accepted as timely. Forms should be mailed to:

    Department of Finance
    Returns Processing
    25Elm Place, 5th Floor
    Brooklyn, NY 11201

The Department of Finance has also changed the RPIE requirements this year, instituting the most significant changes since the program began in 1986. The primary purposes for the changes were to reduce the time and effort required for compliance and to facilitate development of further efficiencies, such as electronic filing. The modifications make it unnecessary for purely residential cooperatives to file these forms; nor do buildings with only garage space or less than 1000 square feet of non-residential space need to file.

Your accountant or managing agent has probably received the RPIE 1999 forms for your cooperative and filed them for you. If you file your own RPIE Form, the Department of Finance offers you many opportunities to obtain the form and get help completing it. Download instructions and forms from the Department of Finance website www.nyc.gov/finance, or call the Department's Tax Fax Service (718) 935-6114 from a phone connected to a fax and have the forms and instructions faxed to you immediately by selecting document code #351 as you follow the automated instructions. You can have the forms mailed to you by calling Taxpayer Assistance at (718) 935-6000, or learn from that number the location of your Borough Assessment Office, where you can pick up a form in person. For answers to questions these forms may raise, call the Property Division at 212 669-4313 or send e-mail using the RPIE contact form on the DOF website.

In the past, some purely residential cooperatives have preferred to err on the side of caution by filing RPIE Forms. This is not necessary. To reassure cooperatives which may question whether they should submit the RPIE, the Department of Finance has posted on its website the addresses and block and lot numbers of the compliance status of cooperatives throughout the city.

GOVERNOR SIGNS CLASS SHARE BILL
NOW CITY TAX RATES CAN BE SET

Governor Pataki has signed into law S8029/A11340, which provides for a 2% cap on increase in tax share for the four property classes in New York City. Designed to protect the single family homeowners in Class 1 and the utilities in Class 3, this bill has little significant impact on multiple dwellings in Class 2 (which includes cooperatives and condominiums). However, until it was passed, the City Council was powerless to establish tax rates for fiscal 2001. For this reason, property tax bills that were sent out in June for payment on July 1st, were calculated based on this year's assessment and last year's rate, with the promise that adjustments will be reflected on the January tax bill.

Governor Pataki has signed into law S8029/A11340, which provides for a 2% cap on increase in tax share for the four property classes in New York City. Designed to protect the single family homeowners in Class 1 and the utilities in Class 3, this bill has little significant impact on multiple dwellings in Class 2 (which includes cooperatives and condominiums). However, until it was passed, the City Council was powerless to establish tax rates for fiscal 2001. For this reason, property tax bills that were sent out in June for payment on July 1st, were calculated based on this year's assessment and last year's rate, with the promise that adjustments will be reflected on the January tax bill.

COMPARATIVE STUDY OF OPERATING COSTS
The Comparative Study of 1999 Operating Costs is being prepared. Thanks to the cooperation of CNYC members and accountants who have provided financial statements, data from approximately 700 cooperatives and condominiums will be included. Once ready, the Comparative Study will be sent to all CNYC member cooperatives and condominiums and professionals affiliated with CNYC. This annual analysis provides a framework to help you decide if your own building is operating economically and efficiently by studying the various costs of operating a building. Code numbers are used to identify the participants, while preserving their anonymity.

The Comparative Study analyzes all data on a per-room basis, beginning with the current assessment and mortgage figures for participating buildings as well as the maintenance cost. It then lists amounts spent per room on wages, fuel, utilities, repairs and maintenance, insurance, management costs, admini-strative costs, water & sewer fees, property tax, and debt service. When possible, elevator maintenance and legal and accounting costs are each listed separately. The Study also presents summary statistics, calculating the averages and medians for each item, and the average portion of total operating budget devoted to each.

CNYC plans to close the 1999 Comparative Study by the end of September so as to send it to members in time to help with the preparation of their 2001 budgets. To have your financial data included in the Study, please quickly forward your annual financial statement to CNYC at 250 West 57th Street, NYC 10023-2142. If this is the first time that you will be participating in the Comparative Study, a room count for your building will be very helpful.

When the Study is sent to members and subscribers, those that have contributed are advised of their code numbers so that they can find their own statistic. Each CNYC member building receives its own copy of the Comparative Study. Additional copies can be purchased from CNYC for $5.

GARAGE TAX MODIFICATION LEVELS THE PLAYING FIELD
CNYC thanks Assembly member Denny Farrell and State Senator Guy Velella who sponsored legislation that was passed this year bringing into line the taxes paid on garage spaces by all homeowners in cooperatives and condominiums who garage their vehicles in the buildings where they live whether the garage is operated by the building or by an independent company. This amendment was necessary to cure a flaw in legislation passed in 1997 to recognize that homeowners should not pay commercial-type taxes when garaging their cars at their homes. The law becomes effective in October, 2000. It is beneficial to the homeowners in any cooperative or condominium with a garage run by a concessionaire who has not previously cooperated in restoring garage tax payments made by resident homeowners.

ENERGY COSTS ESCALATE
Energy costs have skyrocketed since the dawn of the new millennium. Insufficient fuel supply caused great fuel cost increases during the winter of 1999/2000 and then the cost of electricity jumped enormously for Con Edison customers this summer. These events are now wreaking havoc with the budgets of many cooperatives and condominiums and causing them to return to thoughts of energy conservation as a means of reducing their energy costs.

Just in time, funding is available from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which has never ceased to concentrate on conservation as the best means of reducing energy costs. NYSERDA is sponsoring several programs designed to encourage buildings to institute measures to save on energy costs. Its New York Energy $mart program is funding $25 million in technical assistance and installation incentives to help customers make wise electrical energy decisions and improvements. It currently has six programs available to consumers, which we describe briefly below. If you would like further information on any of these programs, you can contact NYSERDA at (518) 862-1090 or consult their website at www.nyserda.org.

  • PON564-00: Energy Feasibility Studies for engineering assistance to identify cost-effective capital improvements that will reduce energy use and increase economic competitiveness. The application deadline is November 15, 2000.
  • PON 563-00: Energy Operations Management for projects that focus on improving the energy efficiency of facility operations including developing an energy strategy for a facility, technical training, and acquiring data. The application deadline is November 8, 2000.
  • PON 562-00: Rate Analysis and Aggregation helps electric customers prepare to negotiate with electric power marketers by evaluating baseline energy consumption, load profiles, and rates. Projects may also facilitate customer aggregation for purchasing electricity and energy services. The application deadline is November 1, 2000.
  • PON 459-99: New Construction Program provides cash back for the installation of const-effective electric energy efficiency measures in new or renovated buildings. Also provides technical assistance to evaluate and design energy-efficient building options. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • PON 566-00: Standard Performance Contract Program offers financial incentives paid on a performance basis to contractors implementing cost-effective electrical efficiency improvements for eligible customers. The incentive is calculated based on one full year of energy savings. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • PON 504-99: New York Energy $mart Loan Fund provides interest reductions of approximately 4.5% on loans from participating lenders for implementing energy efficiency improvements and/or installing renewable technologies. All sectors are eligible. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

At CNYC's 20th annual Cooperative Housing Conference on Sunday, November 12, 2000, there will be three workshops focused on energy issues. In the morning engineer Herb Hirschfeld will discuss submetering and mastermetering as means of conserving electrical energy and positioning your building to take advantage of energy purchase opportunities. Mr. Hirschfeld administers some of the NYSERDA programs. At midday, Jorge Reyes-Montblanc will present an energy conservation overview, and in the afternoon Herb Rose will help participants decide, How Will You Buy Deregulated Electricity? For more details, click here.

 

 
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