NYC lawmakers to fix property taxes … in 2030?

Bill would create panel to evaluate system every 15 years

New York /
Oct.October 21, 2019 01:30 PM
(Credit: iStock)

(Credit: iStock)

UPDATED October 23, 2019, 1 p.m.

Two City Council members are thinking ahead about New York’s troubled property tax system. Eleven years ahead, to be exact.

Last week, Helen Rosenthal and Ben Kallos introduced a bill mandating evaluation of the system in 2030. The idea is to prevent it from becoming warped over time, as has occurred since the last major change was made four decades ago.

The law would create a commission appointed by the mayor and speaker to analyze the system in terms of “equity, efficiency, transparency, ease of administration, and compliance.” It would be required to hold two public hearings and issue a report with an analysis and recommendations by November 2030. The process would repeat every 15 years.

Rosenthal said it dovetails with a bill she introduced in January 2018 that would require the Department of Finance to publish its property assessment methodology and the results of every assessment.

The commission could not alter the system, and the council itself has limited power over property taxes. Only the state Legislature could truly overhaul it. But the panel could call attention to inequities in the system and create impetus to change it, as an ongoing lawsuit is attempting to do.

Lawyers for the city and state argued in court last week to have the lawsuit against them dismissed.

The suit, filed in state court by the industry-backed group Tax Equity Now New York in 2017, alleges the property tax system violates state and federal laws and constitutions by disproportionately taxing low-income and minority homeowners and renters.

Tax Equity, a coalition of real estate and social-welfare groups, say the lawsuit is an attempt to force lawmakers to address the inequities. One reason they have not is that few want to raise anyone’s taxes, which would be inevitable in an overhaul.

 

Both levels of government admit there are problems with the city’s real estate system, but maintain that politicians, not the court, should address them. In 2018, the city set up an advisory commission to recommend reforms.

Rosenthal, who supports Tax Equity’s suit, said she would wait for the results of its work before “aggressively pushing” her legislation. The most recent bill has been referred to the Committee on Finance. 

This story was updated with comments from Rosenthal.

Write to Erin Hudson at [email protected]


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
(L-R) Martha Stark, Eric Adams, and Letitia James (Getty, Wagner.NYU.edu)
High court rescues near-dead property tax challenge
High court rescues near-dead property tax challenge
From left: City Council Member Amanda Farias and Hotel Association of New York City president & CEO Vijay Dandapani (Getty Images, New York City Council, iStock)
City Council considers fat tax cut on hotels
City Council considers fat tax cut on hotels
(iStock, Illustration by Kevin Cifuentes for The Real Deal)
Tax break “saved” Nassau home builders but cost everyone else
Tax break “saved” Nassau home builders but cost everyone else
Hotel Association of New York City CEO Vijay Dandapani (Getty, iStock)
Hotels launch ad campaign after omicron sinks occupancy
Hotels launch ad campaign after omicron sinks occupancy
TENNY Policy Director Martha Star and New York City Comptroller Brad Lander (NYU Wagner, New York City Comptroller)
Last Stand: Property tax reformers recruit Lander to lawsuit
Last Stand: Property tax reformers recruit Lander to lawsuit
From left: Bruce Blakeman, Nassau County Executive, and Laura Curran, former Nassau County Executive (Getty Images, iStock/Photo Illustration by Steven Dilakian for The Real Deal)
Nassau County freezes assessments after home-price surge
Nassau County freezes assessments after home-price surge
Tax assessments rise 9%, signaling higher bills for landlords
Tax assessments rise 9%, signaling higher bills for landlords
Tax assessments rise 9%, signaling higher bills for landlords
Mayor Eric Adams and Bill de Blasio (Getty)
3 things you missed while cheering de Blasio’s departure
3 things you missed while cheering de Blasio’s departure
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...