Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Are property tax assessments done fairly?

From the Daily News:

This year Mayor de Blasio will pay $3,581 in property taxes on each of two row houses he owns in ultra-gentrified Park Slope. The city says his properties are worth about $1.6 million apiece.

Some 14 miles away, in middle-class Laurelton, Queens, Arthur Russell, 66, who retired from computer sales, will pay a property tax bill that, at $4,569, is about 28% higher than the mayor’s — even though the city says his single-family home is worth 75% less than de Blasio’s properties, at $396,000.

If Russell were taxed like the mayor, his bill would fall by roughly $3,500 a year.

“That money could be vacation money,” said Russell, who is African-American. “It’s a substantial amount. My frustration is that it’s blatant abuse. People, if you take a look at this thing, you see disparity.”

Across the five boroughs, the city Department of Finance is subjecting tens of thousands of homeowners to similarly unequal billing — with the winners located primarily in upscale neighborhoods like Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights and Greenwich Village and the losers located overwhelmingly in working- and middle-class neighborhoods like South Jamaica, East New York and Brownsville.

Often, the brunt falls most heavily on black or Hispanic property owners.

A coalition called Tax Equity Now NY, which includes the NAACP, the Black Institute, several landlords and homeowners, has teamed up with lawyers from the firm Latham & Watkins, including former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippmann, to file a class-action suit this week charging that the DNA of the city’s property tax system is racially biased and favors the affluent over the working- and middle-class.?


Anonymous said...

The problem is inequality in Real Estate Tax. There are so many exemptions. Queens County pays 45% of the City's total RE tax.

Anonymous said...

Mario Cuomo when Governor called Long Island the most racist place in America because property taxes were sky high and done so to keep people of color out of LI,SO to fix it he promised that NY State would help with property tax bills of minorities
Property taxes are Racist Based but don't worry sooner or later a rabid squirel will distract the ignorant again.

Anonymous said...

Omg if you look at the old article on crappy about our Mayor having cheaper taxes on his house. I wrote I live in Laurelton Queens and my taxes are over $4,000. I will be contacting this lawyers office today.

Anonymous said...

I said before when this was first gathering momentum and I'll say again - this is a slippery and dangerous slope. If you're not paying AT LEAST 1.2% of your estimated sale price (meaning, take your estimated sale price and divide by 83), then expect your property tax to go UP if this succeeds. WAY up.

This all comes back to the statewide cap on the increase in assessed value (AV) each year. 6% or 20% in 5 years. That's why DeFaustio's taxes are so low - the houses in Park Slope are old as shit. Increasing a $2000 tax bill 6% a year will never catch up to a market that increases 7% a year. It's similar with a lot of other properties in valuable neighborhoods - the houses are old. The market price doesn't matter for old homes - if your AV was $50k on a $1m brownstone, the market value could be $2.5m next year but the AV can't exceed $53k. That's state law.

"Oh well the brownstone owners can afford it." Not so fast. Look at Bushwick in 2011 - hardly luxe living. Two families were what, $350k? Now they're $1m or more? With the cap in place the property tax for the owners went up 20% in 6 years. With no cap it would have gone up 300%. Throwing out the cap on AV - which is the only way to neutralize the advantage of old houses - would RAPIDLY accelerate gentrification, because when the hipsters move in, with no cap the city will just jack the market price 70% a year and tell you to sell your house if you can't afford it. If I'm in Canarsie and see all the development along the L Train and toward Rockaway Park, I would be very worried without that protection.

So this is well-intentioned but absurdly scary, because this cap is all that protects homeowners from skyrocketing taxes as soon as an area becomes desirable. No one wins if this goes through, it's just different magnitudes of losing. DeBlasio might lose more, but Arthur Russell does too because he'll see his taxes go up as well since he's under that ratio of 1/83. Developers win, because J-51 and 421-a get extended indefinitely as they laugh while homeowners get fucked.

Notwithstanding, there's a possibility that some of the owners in east Queens and Brooklyn are actually close to that 1/83 ratio-to-market value, and while they SHOULD be capped, the city is rigging their market values to keep the $ rolling in - and thereby putting them over. That's a very legitimate grievance, but it's one with the assessor, NOT with the system that is designed to protect homeowners. I would certainly be pissed as hell in their shoes too.

Hell, I'm still pissed. I get a decent break on my taxes because my tiny-ass house is in old-ass Astoria, but it's not DeBlasio's break. At way under 1% of market value, I'll live with it, because the alternative is it goes up to 1.2%, or I leave the city and go to Nassau where it's 2.25%. If you think property taxes are bad here, yeesh I hope you never look outside the city.

Anonymous said...

I own in North Flushing and my taxes are now over 8,000. My house is assessed at a little over 1 million which there's no way I would ever get that. So Bil's house is worth more and he pays less than half. Btw I'm white.

Anonymous said...

Queens homeowners would pay less Prop.tx. if the pro-illegal aliens lobby would vett & track the millions of S.E.Asian visa waiver (90 days)overstays of k-12 age,seated in $22000.00 seats in the NYC public schools.They are 20-25 living in CSD 26-25 "BOARDING HOUSES" with SO-CALLED LEGAL GUARDIANS.No parents are alledgedly in the U.S. CallI.C.E.,before we txpayers go broke.The NYC educ.budget now is $25.8 BILLION now,up from $23B.

See:"Center for immigration studies"

Anonymous said...

I pay over $4,000 on a modest two bedroom Co-Op apartment in Whitestone !
We also have no property RE tax cap like one and two family homes that are worth 5 times what my apartment is worth. I will retire sell and move for sure.

JQ LLC said...

The messed up thing now that this revelation is out, De Faustio went to his Rent guidelines board and told them to raise the rents on stabilized apartments.

This scumbag has got to go.

Structual makes a very valid point on the looming threats to poorer neighborhoods like Canarsie and middle class Rockaway Park. It's certain that homeowners there pay more also, despite the fact of high crime in the former and sea level rising threats in the latter.

Anonymous said...

It's wrong but it's not racially biased. My Forest Hills house is worth $900,000 and I pay over $5,000 - the Mayor's house are each worth $1,6M and he pays $3000? WTF??? And I'm white!

Anonymous said...

Its socially biased which so happens to fall inline with race unfortunately.