From Bayside Patch:
When tax assessments of some Queens co-ops jumped as much as 147 percent last year, there was at first sticker shock.
The tax increases were so staggering that many hoped the figures were simple mistakes which could be corrected.
But no mistake was admitted by the Dept. of Finance until lawsuits were threatened against them, Freedom of Information disclosures were filed, and co-op presidents and local politicians went on a protest and press conference circuit that the press called a “tax revolt.”
A reason for the crushing overvaluations was finally given in April: a computer glitch. The Dept. of Finance offered to cap valuation increases at 50 percent, to be fazed into individual tax rates over five years.
But many found that reason to be outlandish. After reportedly dropping the excuse in media reports, and in an open hearing before the City Council, the DOF disavowed the explanation last week.
“Nothing failed,” said DOF Spokesman Owen Stone.