Council of New York Cooperatives & Condominiums
CNYC Newsletter
Challenges of the year 2003: CNYC Plans for a Sounder Future

Published: Winter 2003

The leaders of our city have been working hard to advance the slow recovery from the tragic events of September 11th, both economic and emotional, and to cope with the drastic revenue losses of the last two years. Difficult decisions have been made and laws enacted to deal realistically with the anticipated shortfalls in city resources. Every effort is being made to secure much-needed help from the state through reinstatement of the Commuter Tax, and improvements in funding to give New York City its fair share of dollars for education, for Medicare, and other state-administered funding.

Naturally, all these pressures affect the cooperatives and condominiums of our city. We have had to deal with a steep increase in property tax rates after a dozen years of level rates; huge jumps in insurance premiums, coupled with difficulty in obtaining certain key coverage; and mounting concern about possible new terrorism. Add to this a cold, cold winter, pushing energy spending far beyond reasonable expectations and the contract with building service employees due for renegotiation in the spring.

The boards of New York cooperatives and condominiums have had no choice but to enact significant increases in maintenance charges. Not because they want to, not because they are insensitive to the needs of shareholders and unit owners on fixed incomes or those who have lost jobs or failed to receive expected compensation increases this year, but simply because they understand that it is their responsibility to plan prudently so that their cooperative or condominium has enough money to meet its obligations.

New York cooperatives and condominiums have shared in the good times in our city. City leaders recognize that we are an important segment of the city population, that we – like all other New Yorkers – deserve the best possible schools for our children, the services necessary to keep our city safe and clean, excellent hospitals and health care, fairness in the property taxes we are asked to pay, and occasional incentives to ensure that our homes remain affordable.

In difficult times, New York cooperatives and condominiums understand their responsibility to help the city solve its problems, even when tax increases and austerity measures pave that road to recovery. In difficult times, we don't abandon our priorities, but we can adjust our expectations and concentrate on those of our goals that do not add burdens to government.

We are fortunate indeed that the property tax abatement program is firmly in place through June 30,2004. Very soon we will have to mobilize for its extension (see page 3). The legislation that CNYC will concentrate on this year consists of measures designed to improve conditions in cooperatives and condominiums at no cost to the government. We are working with

Congressman Charlie Rangel to eliminate the 80/20 in Section 216 of the Internal Revenue Code. Properly implemented, this legislation has the potential to generate more tax revenue as it solves big problems for cooperatives with commercial space (see page 9). We are also supporting State legislation to improve conversion law. As needed, we will contact you for your grass roots support.


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