Property taxes climb despite market flux: report

Peter Hauspurg
Peter Hauspurg

One would expect that in a down market, when property values are on the decline, the city’s collection of corresponding taxes would fall as well. However, a report from Eastern Consolidated shows that the volume of real property taxes in New York City increased every year from 2005 to 2012, regardless of market conditions, Real Estate Weekly reported. For example, property tax collections increased 17 percent between 2009 and 2011, even as the market value for citywide properties fell, the report says.

Eastern Consolidated pegged this development to an expansion of the tax base, as the city added new properties, among other reasons.

“As a former tax lawyer, I am confounded by the city’s tax code,” Peter Hauspurg, Eastern Consolidated’s chairman and CEO, said in the study. “Researching these numbers was akin to a Law and Order episode — every new piece of information generated more and more questions.”

The study surveyed a total of 111 buildings, comparing non-condominium residential property tax payments per square foot on the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side and the West Village.

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Of the 111 buildings, 40 of the ones examined were rentals.

In the Village, rental property owners shelled out $3.82 per square foot on average in property taxes in the 2012 tax year. However, taxes reached up to $13.41 per square foot for some properties. A total of 13 buildings in this neighborhood were surveyed.

On the Upper East Side, the average tax for a rental property ticked in at $10.23 per square foot and spanned a range from $6.46 to $14.31 per square foot. On the Upper West Side, the average was $6.22 per square foot, with a range of $3.61 to $13.64 per square foot.

In addition, multi-family property tax collections showed little relation to the buildings’ ages, location, value or size, the report says.

According to the study, co-op properties did not pay less in property taxes per square foot than rental buildings. The study says that, on average, co-op property tax collections were higher than rental properties located in the West Village and on the Upper West Side. [REW]Zachary Kussin