From the Daily News:
On Autumn Ave. in working class Cypress Hills sits a modest $462,000 brick two-family home with a postage-stamp sized front yard and a warning sign, “These Premises Protected by Video Surveillance.”
The owner pays $6,919 in property taxes.
Six miles away on Fourth St. on one of upscale Park Slope’s most exclusive blocks sits an impressive $2.5 million four-story brownstone with a lush backyard garden, four bedrooms and three baths.
The owner of that lovely home pays $6,209 in property taxes — $710 less than his fellow Brooklynite, whose plot sits in one of the city’s poorest zip codes.
When it comes to property taxes, New York City homeowners live in an upside-down “Alice In Wonderland” world — a system that often favors the rich and punishes lower- and middle-income property owners, a Daily News investigation has found.
Because of the bizarre way the city taxes residential property, owners in upscale gentrified New York neighborhoods like Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights and the upper East Side often wind up paying less than owners in hardscrabble zip codes like East New York and Canarsie in Brooklyn, South Jamaica in Queens and Mott Haven in the Bronx.
Property taxes collected under this unequal system are the city’s biggest single source of money, accounting for 40% of all revenue and totaling $18.7 billion this year.
By law, the city is supposed to treat everyone the same, assessing taxes based on what the Finance Department determines as the “estimated market value" of a property and then applying a uniform 6% assessment ratio to that number.
Records show it doesn’t happen that way.
At the request of The News, the city’s Independent Budget Office performed an analysis of tens of thousands of property tax records citywide and found “wide disparities" in how the Finance Department nails down its version of “market value.”