Queens homeowners fight inflated property value increases

Protesters have taken to the streets around City Hall as part of a borough-wide tax revolt against the Department of Finance’s flawed property assessments, according to the New York Times. While initially standing by its over-inflated assessments of co-ops in Queens, saying the properties had been drastically undervalued in previous years, the department was forced in April to admit a processing error. “The computer didn’t go haywire,” said Commissioner David Frankel at a recent hearing. “The data was wrong.”

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A Queens co-op resident, worried about being priced out of her neighborhood, said to the New York Times: “How is it possible that the values of our properties can go up by more than 100 percent during one of the biggest real estate declines in a generation?”

The property rolls are being audited by City Comptroller John Liu to determine a reason for the mistake. The finance department, which valued over 1 million properties, has also capped market value increases at 50 percent citywide and moved to correct the values of 40 properties that had been falsely compared with commercial properties next door. [NYT]