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Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums
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Financial Issues

Published: Summer 2002

TAX ABATEMENTS FOR QUALIFYING OWNERS
Property tax bills for fiscal 2003, which began July 1, 2002, were sent out in mid-June. Because the City Council had not yet established the tax rate for fiscal 2003, these bills were calculated by applying last year's tax rate to this year's assessment. July bills included provision for the property tax abatement (since the program continues through June 2004). Please note that, because the Fiscal 2003 abatement is being credited on all tax bills for this fiscal year, the dollar amount of this abatement is less than the amount credited to the January and April 2002 tax bills, when the entire abatement for fiscal 2002 was applied from January only.

As in the past, the Department of Finance will recalculate all tax bills once the tax rate is established. Adjustments will appear on January tax bills for individual unit owners in condominiums and on the bill for each cooperative. In the autumn, the Department of Finance will send a chart to the contact person in all participating cooperatives telling precisely the dollar amount of exemptions and abatements due to each apartment owner. The cooperative has until June 30, 2003 to distribute the abatement. At CNYC's 22nd annual Housing Conference on Sunday, November 17th, an Update From the Department of Finance will give you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about abatements and exemptions. Please see page 15 of this Newsletter for a Conference preview.

6.5 PERCENT WATER RATE INCREASE
The New York City Water Board met on May 3, 2002, and, due in large part to the drought situation, adopted an increase of 6.5% in water and sewer rates for fiscal year 2003, which began on July 1, 2002. Annual billings for buildings who pay for water based on frontage were sent during the month of May and were payable July 1st. Frontage rates are scheduled to continue for another year, after which all water will be billed based on use as measured by water meters. Buildings that do not wish to be billed by meter can opt instead to install low flow fixtures in at least 70% of all toilets and faucets to become eligible for a flat rate of approximately $445 per unit per year. Buildings that have not yet installed water meters now pay a 100% surcharge on frontage rates.

For information about water rates and metering, contact Warren Liebold at the Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Water Resource at 718-595-4657 or consult the DEP website at www.nyc.gov/dep.


NYSERDA INCENTIVES FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY
To promote energy conservation, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is again offering financial incentives to encourage the use of energy-efficient air conditioners. Through September 20,2002, anyone can receive $75 from the New York Energy Smart Program by purchasing a new Energy Star-labeled room air conditioner and bringing their old, inefficient working room air conditioner to an authorized site, along with the receipt for the Energy Star machine. Additional information about energy conservation is available at www.nyserda.ny.gov/Residents-and-Homeowners.

OPERATING COST STUDY
The Comparative Study of 2000 Operating Costs was published last fall; a copy was sent to every CNYC member cooperative and condominium and to all professional subscribers. This annual analysis provides a framework to help you decide if your own building is functioning economically and efficiently, by analyzing the various aspects of operating co-ops and condos. Code numbers are used to identify the participants, while preserving their anonymity. When the Study is sent to members whose financial data is included, they are advised of their code numbers so that they can find their own statistic.

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 their maintenance cost. It then lists amounts spent per room on wages, fuel, utilities, repairs and maintenance, insurance, management costs, administrative costs, water and 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.

To maximize your benefit from the Comparative Study of 2001 Operating Costs, please be certain that CNYC has the 2001 financial statement from your cooperative or condominium along with an accurate room count.

The Comparative Study of 2000 Operating Costs can be purchased from CNYC for $5. Send your check to CNYC at 250 West 57th Street, NYC 10023-2142, specifying where you would like the Study sent.



 
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