Posted by Leonard Steinberg on January 18, 2011

Co-op and condo owners are slated to pay much higher real estate taxes next year, under a preliminary assessment roll released on Friday by the Bloomberg administration. The city attributed the rises, due to take effect in July 2011, to higher market values placed on apartment buildings by tax assessors. Yet no-one is asking for their methodology, no-one is asking why co-op and condo taxes should rise by almost TRIPLE the mount of single family homes. CORRUPTION?

Did you know that New York property taxes have risen by 78% in the past 10 years? Of course, some have risen significantly less than this 78% and other significantly more……why? CORRUPTION?

Tax collections are expected to rise by 7.5% for co-op owners, and 9.6% for condo owners across the city, according to a summary report released by the Department of Finance, yet single-family homes would only pay 2.8% more. CORRUPTION? Is this because Mayor Bloomberg lives in a townhouse?

ALSO: No-one is questioning why some co-ops, condo’s and single family houses are taxed so extremely differently from one another, often in neighboring properties:  When the assessors re-valued the entire city did they even look at or consider the disparity between properties? I doubt it. CORRUPTION?

Taxes on rental buildings will also increase significantly, the report said—by 9% for rent-regulated apartments and by 8.1% for unregulated apartments. Some of this tax increase is passed on to tenants.

This translates into an average tax increase of $384 for co-ops, $490 for condos, and $107 for single-family home owners. In Manhattan, the tax bill will go up an average of $594 to $9,351 for co-ops and by $970 to $11,348 for condos: How on earth is it possible to have this broad a range? CORRUPTION?

Finance Commissioner David M. Frankel denied that assessments were raised to increase tax collection, saying the department “performs a ministerial function valuing properties in accordance with state law and the best practices.” Oh, really! CORRUPTION?

The new assessments are not final. Taxpayers can ask the Department of Finance to make corrections, and can appeal their new assessments to the city Tax Commission. The deadline for appeals is March 15 for owners of one- to three-family homes, and March 1 for others. I strongly urge all property owners who are being unfairly assessed to rise up now and fight this corruption ONCE AND FOR ALL.

Owen Stone, a spokesman for the department, attributed about 30% of the increase in assessments on apartment buildings to improved earnings by the owners of rental buildings (in a market where rentals have dropped significantly over the past 24 months…..CORRUPTION?), and the rest due to technical factors, including a new, more accurate assessment methodology (PLEASE SHOW US THIS METHODOLOGY……PLEASE!), as well as lower interest rates on bonds, which are used in the calculation of market values.

Some of the increase in average tax assessments is due to new construction, renovation and expiring tax exemptions on individual properties.

Under state law, valuations of co-ops and condos are calculated as if they were similar rental buildings, though they are entitled to co-op and condo abatements, usually 17.5%.

Tax collections on office buildings were due to rise by 7.25%, according to the report. In total, city revenue was expected to rise by $900 million under the new assessments, Mr. Stone said. And what will we be using this $ 900 million for exactly? The MTA? The Sanitation workers bonuses?  CORRUPTION?

Michael Slattery, senior vice president at the Real Estate Board of New York, said the steep increases were cause for concern and that he would be consulting with property owners.

“Some of the numbers look high, surprisingly so,” he said. “I can’t believe the market went up that much.” He says this after his OWN REPORT released just recently showed a slight improvement in pricing, but fails to mention that real estate taxes were never lowered when the property values declined.

The city also changed its assessment methodology for one- to three-family homes “to more accurately reflect sales prices,” resulting in some significant increases in market values of the most expensive homes in Manhattan. PLEASE SHOW US….WE SIMPLY DON’T BELIEVE YOU!

Market values of one-family homes in Manhattan went up by 16.3%, but because the assessment increases can only be phased in over many years, the assessed value for these homes rose far less, 7%. This translates into an average increase of $1,645 to an average tax bill of $33,132.  PLEASE, PLEASE, someone, somewhere show us how one-family house values rose by 16,3% in the past year:  WHAT PLANET ARE THESE IDIOTS LIVING ON?

In Queens, the city’s estimate of the market value of co-ops went up by 32.4%, with average tax bills to go up by 12.5%, or an average increase of $292.

So, dear taxpayers, if you believe everything our beloved City officials have spewed forth in this dumptruck of ‘facts’, go ahead and pay those taxes. If for some slight reason you question the legitimacy of these numbers, maybe now is the time to stand up to what I consider the MOST CORRUPT REAL ESTATE TAX SYSTEM IN THE WORLD.