Reform New York City property taxes: OPINION

Rates should be based on real-world value rather than property classes, writes Crain's
October 02, 2014 02:40PM

The city should reform its overly complicated property tax system to be more transparent and better reflect real-world values, Crain’s opined in an editorial.

While the City Council has promised to convene a commission on reform, elected officials seldom tackle the issue because there is little political benefit to be had, according to the op-ed. Leaders only see the backlash that will ensue from those who would pay more under a more equitable system, and instead offer fixes like the proposed tax on pieds-a-terre.

At the heart of the problem are the city’s outdated tax classes, Crain’s says.

One- to three-family properties account for half of all property value, but owners only pony up 15 percent of tax payments, according to the newspaper. Meanwhile, rental units, co-ops and condos in account for less than a quarter of property value, yet landlords and owners cough up 36 percent of the city’s tax revenue. [Crain’s]Tom DiChristopher