The Real Deal New York

New York AG files to dismiss property tax suit

Plaintiffs say current laws place unequal burden on black and Latino renters
July 28, 2014 02:55PM

The New York state Attorney General’s office and New York City Tax Department are seeking to dismiss a class action lawsuit that alleges city and state property tax laws are discriminatory against African Americans and Latinos.

Plaintiffs filed the suit in February in a bid to overturn the property tax laws, which they say benefit owners of co-ops, condos and single-family homes and places an unequal tax burden on renters. A disproportionate number of New York City renters are black and Latino.

In a filing today, State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the courts do not have jurisdiction on the issue. Plaintiffs, he said, failed to state cause of action and the injunctive relief the plaintiffs are seeking violates separation of powers principles, Capital New York reported.

Rita Dumain, chief of the New York City Law Department’s tax and bankruptcy litigation division, confirmed in a statement cited by the news site that the city is challenging the suit, explaining that the department believes “the issues raised are better addressed by the State Legislature.” [Capital NY]Tom DiChristopher