The Real Deal New York

Council bill could end property taxes for low-income co-ops

Measure aims to address issue of co-ops selling for increasingly high prices

November 30, 2015 11:00AM

Melissa Mark-Viverito Vicki Been

From left: Melissa Mark-Viverito and Vicki Been

In an effort to preserve a valuable affordable housing resource, the City Council is proposing to end property taxes for the nearly 1,300 limited-income co-ops in New York City in exchange for tighter regulations at those buildings.

The proposal aims to address not only the matter of distressed buildings that are not paying their property taxes and water bills but also co-ops that are increasingly selling for high prices – more than $1 million in some cases.

A 14-member City Council affordable housing task force including Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito called for the changes in a letter this month to Vicki Been, commissioner of the city’s Department Housing Preservation and Development, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Many of the buildings that would be affected – known as Housing Development Fund Corp., or HDFC, co-ops — were created in the 1980s and 1990s in an effort to boost homeownership among lower-income families, with people living in city-owned buildings able to buy apartments for $250 each.

While the cost of the proposal is not yet clear, the city’s Independent Budget Office is studying the matter in wake of increasing tax delinquencies at such properties. In the fiscal year ending in June 2014, the city billed a group of roughly 1,000 limited-income co-ops $21.1 million in property taxes – and collected only $14.1 million of that amount, according to the budget office. [WSJ]Rey Mashayekhi