More New Yorkers appeal rising property tax bills

March 15, 2012 01:00PM

New Yorkers are getting sick of their growing tax bills.

According to WNYC, property taxes have doubled in the decade since Mayor Michael Bloomberg took office, and more city homeowners are appealing their bills than in years past. In Manhattan, for example, the average property tax levied could increase by as much as $1,600 next year.

Last year, 50,000 New Yorkers appealed their home assessments and claimed they were too high, a 20 percent increase since 2006. One in five of those got a reduction offer from the city, which averaged about 8 to 10 percent.

But the appeals process for tax bills is very complicated. “You can not explain them fairly and accurately in sound bites,” said David Frankel, head of the city’s Department of Finance.

When the city assesses a property it can only apply a 6 percent annual increase in the assessed value of one-, two- or three-family homes — even if the property’s value has risen much higher. The time it takes for the 6 percent annual increases to catch up to the true assessment explains why property tax bills continued to rise even during the recession. [WNYC]