Monday, September 30, 2013

City properties taxed unfairly

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.”


Anonymous said...

This report is flawed by the fact that 2014 market values for numerous homes inundated by Sandy were reduced by Dept. of Finance .

Anonymous said...

They're running this article out of phase: tentative assessed valuations don't come out til January...

Anonymous said...

You know, I knew that there was something going on with the house prices in nyc. I mean how is it possible that home prices have tripled within the last 12 years in queens?? It is RIDICULOUS!! Half of the houses in Queens are not worth what the city "claims" that it is worth. Homes when it comes to NYC are ridiculously out of price and out of hand. If you are a "middle income" family, you can not afford any houses in NYC!! Not even in the illegals neighborhoods!! 600000 for an old run down house is ridiculous!! If these prices continue to rise, I think the government should put a cap on our population that way we can actually find places to move to when we want to move and the price of our housing will probably go down in price. I am so tired of being priced out of the market because every SINGLE foreigner and out-of-state yuppie wants to move here!! I was born here, I should be able to afford a place to live in the city I grew up in and my grandparents and parents help build! They should charge out-of-towners more taxes to move and give the people who are native to New York tax breaks!!

Anonymous said...

Only in New York City would this be ALLOWED to happen.

(and maybe Moscow and Shanghai)