The Daily Dirt: Property tax reform and de Blasio, a history

TRD New York /
Sep.September 12, 2019 11:00 AM
Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)

Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)

It’s been nearly 40 years since the New York legislature passed a bill that established the current property tax system. Not much has changed since then. 

Since his 2013 mayoral campaign, Bill de Blasio has advocated for changing the city’s property tax system. The related law has drawn the ire from many due to, among many things, the fact that it treats co-ops and condos as if they are rental buildings. But during de Blasio’s first term, not much happened. Then-City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito had proposed forming a commission to address property tax reform in 2014, but it never got off the ground. During his 2017 re-election campaign, the mayor once again pledged to make property tax reform a priority.  Last year — four years after Mark-Viverito’s proposal — de Blasio and Speaker Corey Johnson officially launched a commission aimed at overhauling what many regard to be an unfair system.   

On Tuesday, though, housing czar Vicki Been said changes likely won’t happen during de Blasio’s tenure as mayor. And whoever inherits the issue will likely have a long and contentious road ahead, since changes will require legislation on both the state and city level. A lawsuit filed in 2017 by Tax Equity Now — an unlikely coalition that includes the Rent Stabilization Association, prominent landlords and social welfare groups such as the NAACP and the Black Institute — has tried to force the state and city to act.  

De Blasio has argued that changes shouldn’t be made through the courts. Funny enough, that’s how the law was changed back in 1981. It was a 1975 ruling by the state’s highest court — in the case Hellerstein v. Assessor —  that forced the legislature’s hand, even though the government body’s revision of the law largely perpetuated one of the major issues of the tax system: owners of commercial and apartment buildings have a significantly higher tax burden than condos and co-ops. 

One of Corcoran’s top producers has jumped ship to — you guessed it — Compass.

After 15 years with Corcoran, Charlie Attias has moved over to the venture capital-backed firm, Erin Hudson reports

According to TRD’s annual rankings, Attias closed $91 million in sales last year, making him one of Corcoran’s top producers. At Compass, he will lead his own team — which he apparently brought with him from Corcoran.  

Corcoran lost 97 agents to Compass between the end of 2017 and the end of 2018, according to a previous TRD analysis. Nearly a year ago, Corcoran clapped back with a clawback policy that requires agents who have higher splits than the firm’s official schedule to repay the difference on any deals that have closed in the last 18 months if they move to a rival company. It’s unclear if this will apply to Attias.

What we’re thinking about next:
Who will buy 233 West 125th Street, Harlem’s tallest building? Send a note or shortlist of contenders to [email protected]

Residential: The priciest residential closing recorded on Wednesday was for a townhouse at 483 West 22nd Street in West Chelsea, at $6.7 million.
Commercial: The most expensive commercial closing of the day was for an industrial property at 134 Morgan Avenue in East Williamsburg, at $54.5 million. 

The largest new building filing of the day was for a 254,650-square-foot residential building at 2069 Bruckner Boulevard in Castle Hill. Azimuth Development Group and Ackerman filed the permit application. 

The priciest residential listing of the day was for a condo unit at 15 Central Park West on the Upper West Side, at $65 million. Brown Harris Stevens’ Felise Gross has the listing. — Research by Mary Diduch

A thing we’ve learned…
 Talk to Transformer, a website that allows you to see how artificial intelligence generates text based on the information you give it and provides a hilarious reassurance that robots are not quite ready to take over my job, has some funny ideas about this newsletter. Providing the prompt “The Daily Dirt,” resulted in fake testimonials from various publications:

“A unique look at one man’s odyssey to become an actual real estate broker and the incredible lessons he learns in his quest to get into the profession.”  – The New York Times

“A real-life tale of the journey to becoming a licensed real-estate broker and his real life mistakes along the way. ”  – The New York Post

“It’s an in-depth look at a real estate broker who has become a major player in the real estate industry. ”  – Wall Street Journal

Top stories from our other markets:

Anbang has sold its U.S. hotel portfolio to the highest bidder at a price north of $5.8 billion, but a last-minute wrench was thrown into the deal when the Chinese insurance conglomerate discovered six of the properties’ deeds were fraudulently transferred to limited liability companies, the Wall Street Journal reports. The deal with the buyer, South Korea’s Mirae Asset Global Investments, was due to close last month but was delayed due to fake deeds that transferred the ownership of six of the properties to unidentified limited liability companies. 

Lendlease, the Australian construction giant that has been among the most active firms in Chicago — particularly in the South and West loops — has a new head of operations. Ted Weldon was promoted to executive general manager of development for Chicago, according to Crain’s. The move comes as Thomas Weeks vacates that role, leaving for New York-based Rockefeller Group, where he will become executive vice president and head of development.

Holland Partner Group has hit a snag with its plan to build an 185-unit apartment complex in Hollywood. An affiliate of the Laborers’ Union International of North America appealed the environmental impact report for the project this week, according to Urbanize. Holland’s project is slated for a 1.7-acre site at the corner of St. Andrews Place and De Longpre Avenue.

Pompano Beach city commissioners granted the first approval to a land use change that would more than triple the maximum number of residential units on the Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park. Reno-based Eldorado Resorts is in a joint venture to redevelop the 223-acre Pompano Beach property with Baltimore-based Cordish Companies, the developer of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood.

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