The NYC Commission publishes report on property tax reform that could benefit Staten Islanders

STATE OF ICELAND, NY – A New York City commission released its final report Wednesday, proposing the best ways to address inequalities in the local property tax system.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Speaker Corey Johnson convened the New York Property Tax Commission in May 2018, calling it a way to create a “simpler, clearer and fairer” system while ensuring no reduction in property tax revenue.

“For far too long, New York City’s opaque and unfair property tax system has led to huge inequalities in New York’s property tax bills,” de Blasio said Wednesday. “The Commission’s recommendations represent the most significant structural reforms of the system in 40 years and would provide much-needed relief to low- and moderate-income New Yorkers.”

The Commission’s primary recommendation is a new tax class for small residential properties – one to three family homes, condominiums, cooperatives and 4- to 10-unit rental homes.

Currently, condominiums and condominiums are taxed at a lower rate than homes, although they are often more expensive. The property values ​​in the new housing class would be based on sales-based market value instead of the current system that values ​​cooperative housing and condominiums relative to comparable rental units.

To make that and the rest of their proposals a reality, state and city legislators will need to reform a decades-old system and challenge a number of special interests in the process.

“Hopefully, this report will serve as a plan for state and city legislators to implement this long-needed reform,” said Commission President Marc Shaw.

Property Tax Commission

City Property Tax Commission hears from island residents about property taxes on Thursday, September 27, 2018. (Sydney Kashiwagi / Staten Island Advance)Sydney Kashiwagi

Property taxes are an age-old source of frustration for Staten Islanders, who have historically paid a higher rate for cheaper housing compared to other parts of the city.

Under the state property tax law, new construction or a major modification of existing construction triggers a valuation. In addition, new owners of long-standing properties in parts of the city that have been revitalized over the past 40 years are reaping the benefits of the outdated tax system.

This means that newer but cheaper homes in Staten Island neighborhoods like the Richmond Valley can often have higher property taxes than older, more expensive buildings in places like Brooklyn’s Cobble Hill.

For example, a home in Richmond Valley pays about $ 1.3 million in the city’s Treasury Department 2021 report on the property about $ 2,800 in quarterly taxes, while a Cobble Hill house valued at about $ 3.4 million pays about $ 2,400 dollars quarterly.

The market value system proposed by the Commission for the new property class would help to alleviate this inequality.

When they were convened in 2018, New Yorkers had spent years calling for such a commission to revise the property tax system.

Initially, an islander was not appointed to the commission, causing further consternation for the neighborhood’s residents, but eventually they appointed Blasio administration Allen Cappelli, a former board member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and a member of the Civil Service Commission.

“The work of this temporary commission draws a roadmap against property tax equity in New York’s property tax system, which has treated too many New Yorkers unfairly for decades,” Cappelli said.

“What scares me the most is that if the government does not take the step towards justice and transparency now, the inequality between homeowners will grow more and more different with each passing year.”

The group released an initial report in January 2020, but had their work significantly delayed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Despite this, the commission had the opportunity to hear from property owners across the five boroughs about what they would like to see changed.

Complaints from Staten Islanders included the overall high tax rate, tax inequality and exemptions for large universities, according to the report.

Additional proposals from the report include a partial “homeowner exemption” for primary homeowners and a “power outage” that provides a rebate based on the relationship between property tax and income.

Leave a Comment