2020 NYC Property Tax Preliminary Report

See https://tony.brooklyncoop.org/get-involved/listen-to-the-2020-preliminary-property-tax-commission-report to listen to the important parts of the report.

Here's the recommendations from the board and some comments.

You will notice that there is no discussion of:

  • No discussion of Tax Caps.   We need a 2% tax cap or the rate of inflation (whichever is lower)
  • No discussion of 421A and the billions of dollars of exemptions go to developers.  These 421A and the hundreds of other exemption programs are worth many billions of dollars and no discussion at all.  
  • We need to include 421A in the conversation.
  • No discussion of NYU and Columbia etc. paying no property tax at all.  Amazing.
  • No discussion of helping renters other than a brief mention.

1. The Commission recommends moving coops, condominiums and rental buildings with up to 10 units into a new residential class along with 1-3 family homes. The property tax system would continue to consist of four classes of property: residential, large rentals, utilities, and commercial.

This is good.  Coops and Condos are really class 1 properties and should be treated as such.   We recommended this in the hearings.

2. The Commission recommends using a sales-based methodology to value all properties in the residential class.

This makes sense but it must be done correctly and with full assessment, market value will matter.  In the current system, most are not affected by market value.

3. The Commission recommends assessing every property in the residential class at its full market value.

This is a good recommendation.

4. The Commission recommends that annual market value changes in the new residential class be phased in over five years at a rate of 20% per year, and that Assessed Value Growth Caps should be eliminated.

This will remove tax caps.   This means that New York City will have no tax caps.  Yet, the state has a 2% tax cap.  We, the people, need to require a 2% or the rate of inflation (whichever is lower) tax growth cap.  This is very important, if we have no caps there could be issues.  

5. The Commission recommends creating a partial homestead exemption for primary resident owners with income below a certain threshold. The exemption would be available to all eligible primary resident owners in the residential class and would replace the current Coop-Condo Tax Abatement.

This is a good recommendation but there are no numbers here.  We need to know the income level thresholds.

6. The Commission recommends creating a circuit breaker within the property tax system to lower the property tax burden on low-income primary resident owners, based on the ratio of property tax paid to income.

This is a good recommendation.

7. The Commission recommends replacing the current class share system with a system that prioritizes predictable and transparent tax rates for property owners. The new system would freeze the relationship of tax rates among the tax classes for five-year periods, after which time the City would conduct a mandated study to analyze if adjustments need to be made to maintain consistency in the share of taxes relative to fair market value borne by each tax class.

This sounds a lot like the current Class Share system.

8. The Commission recommends that current valuation methods should be maintained for properties not in the new residential class (rental buildings with more than 10 units, utilities, and commercial).

So skyscrapers, etc. are not changed.

9. The Commission recommends a gradual transition to the new system for current owners, with an immediate transition into the new system whenever a property in the new residential class is sold.

New system will be pushed in upon sale.

10. The Commission recommends instituting comprehensive reviews of the property tax system every 10 years.

Of course, commission always want more commissions.


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