Cuomo expects NYC to take lead on property tax reform

Despite Mayor de Blasio’s vow to overhaul system, elected officials doubt any change is imminent

Feb.February 25, 2020 10:00 AM
Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)

Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio (Credit: Getty Images)

Despite Mayor Bill de Blasio’s latest push to do something about the city’s convoluted property tax system, state lawmakers aren’t expecting anything to happen soon.

“I am absolutely not optimistic that there will be legislation this session,” state Sen. Brian Benjamin of Harlem told the New York Times. “This is going to be an important conversation that you cannot rush.”

“We don’t have a bill. We don’t have anything to support. You can’t support a report,” Assemblyman Joseph Lentol of Brooklyn told the paper.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office is also waiting for city officials to make a decision first, his press secretary said.

The most recent attempt to reform the city’s tax system came in response to a 2017 lawsuit, whose mix of plaintiffs included city landlords and the NAACP.

The city announced the formation of a commission to review the tax system last May, and the mayor has vowed an overhaul before his term ends at the end of next year.

Deputy Mayor for Housing Vicki Been expressed doubts last September that such a goal is “realistic,” she said, though City Hall has distanced itself from those comments.

The commission’s first overdue report was not well-received, with a representative for the plaintiff coalition calling it “not anything new” last month. The group, Tax Equity Now, plans to move ahead with its lawsuit against the city and state. [NYT] — Kevin Sun

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