Archive for the tag 'property taxes'

Photo by Max T.

The next meeting of the Manhattan Beach Community Group (MBCG) will be Wednesday, June 25 at 8:00 p.m. inside Public School 195, 131 Irwin Street at Hampton Avenue.

Members and attendees will discuss real estate taxes that have changed in Manhattan Beach as a result of Superstorm Sandy. Representatives from the NYC Department of Finance will be on hand to answer your questions regarding the methods used to determine why new assessed values did or did not appear on your recent statement.

The MBCG encourages members of the community to attend and participate in their monthly civic meetings. For more, contact MBCG at (718) 200-1845 or manhattanbeachbrooklyn.org@gmail.com, or visit www.manhattanbeachbrooklyn.org.

Photo by Erica Sherman

The following is a press release from the offices of Councilman Mark Treyger:

Council Member Mark Treyger, Chairman of the Committee on Recovery and Resiliency, is pleased to announce the passage of City Council legislation he sponsored to provide relief from tax increases on properties that were damaged during Superstorm Sandy and subsequently rebuilt to its prior condition. As a result of today’s law, property owners will not be penalized with unfair tax increases simply for performing critical repair work to their homes.

The issue arose several months ago, when storm victims began being hit with increased property assessments and real estate taxes as a result of necessary repair work to repair damage caused by the storm. The impacted property owners facing higher tax bills included several residents of Sea Gate and Coney Island who contacted Council Member Treyger for assistance. He has since worked with Mayor de Blasio and his City Council colleagues including Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Councilman Vincent Ignizio to have this legislation passed as quickly as possible. Thanks to today’s legislation, most property owners who had their 2014 fiscal year property assessment reduced from 2013 as a result of storm damage, but then increased for fiscal year 2015 due to repairs, are eligible for this partial abatement.

“Victims of Superstorm Sandy were being victimized all over again by unfair increases in their property tax bills. To make matters worse, this was happening at a time when many families’ budgets are stretched to the maximum and every dollar counts. To ask someone to pay higher taxes for necessary repair work is patently unfair and only adds insult to injury for these New Yorkers. I am pleased that Mayor de Blasio, Governor Cuomo, our State Legislature and the City Council recognized the urgent need to immediately address this issue and came to a solution that is fair for all sides,” said Council Member Treyger.

Homeowners whose fiscal year 2015 assessment exceeds the fiscal year 2013 assessment that reflected the property value prior to the storm are covered under this law. The abatement will appear on impacted homeowners’ July property tax bills. In cases where the repair work resulted in an increase in the building’s square footage, this law provides for a decrease that is proportional to the increase in the building’s size.

For more information on eligibility requirements, contact 311 or the NYC Department of Finance at nyc.gov/finance.

The following announcement was sent to us from the office of New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer:

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The next meeting of the Manhattan Beach Community Group (MBCG) will be Wednesday, April 23 at 8:00 p.m. inside Public School 195, 131 Irwin Street at Hampton Avenue.

Guest speaker, State Senator Marty Golden, will discuss and answer your questions on topics including:

  • How does the New York State budget affect you?
  • Will your property taxes go up?
  • What is New York State doing to make sure your home is not flooded again?
  • Is the legislature allocating more funds for Sandy-damaged communities?

The MBCG encourages members of the community to attend and participate in their monthly civic meetings. For more, contact MBCG at (718) 200-1845 or manhattanbeachbrooklyn.org@gmail.com, or visit www.manhattanbeachbrooklyn.org.

401(K) via Flickr

It looks like the city may have screwed thousands of New Yorkers out of a tax break that benefits condo and co-op owners, according to a report by Crain’s.

The confusion came about when tens of thousands of New York condo and co-op owners received letters from the Department of Finance telling them that a change to an existing tax abatement that was passed by the legislature this past January disqualified them from collecting the break.

The problem is that the new legislation disqualifies secondary residences – but the department erroneously sent the letters to thousands of primary residences, which still qualify for the full tax break.

The financial implications are huge, as those incorrectly excluded from break could lose out on an extra $1,000. Who or what to blame for the screw up was not entirely clear:

“Some people have been in their homes, 20, 30 or 40 years and are getting these letters,” said Mr. [Warren] Schreiber, [co-president of the Co-Op and Condo Council in northeast Queens]. “I think what happened is that the Department of Finance’s records are out of date, but it’s causing a lot of confusion and chaos.”

And it’s not the first time a mistake like this has happened. Nearly two years ago, Finance Commissioner David Frankel acknowledged the department had erred on 15,000 property bills the city mailed that July because of a “computer glitch.”

But in this case, a Department of Finance spokesman said the agency had used available data to determine which of the city’s 360,000 condo and co-ops would qualify for the abatement, and automatically enrolled 230,000 of them. In instances where there was not enough information, the agency sent out 130,000 of the letters to homeowners saying they were not eligible for the tax break.

Still, all hope is not lost for those who incorrectly received the letter disqualifying them from the break. The letter does inform residents to fill out a form by April 1 and mail it back to verify that their address is indeed their primary residence.

The Department of Finance stated that the letter was useful for updating their records, but it hasn’t stopped residents, especially the elderly, from getting anxiety that their financial planning may be out of whack.

Do you own a condo or a co-op and incorrectly receive a letter from the Department of Finance? Let us know. Oh, yeah, and let the DOF know, too.

Source: 401(K) via Flickr

With the threat of climate change and redrawn flood zone lines leading to skyrocketing insurance rates, you’d think the only thing that is certain to rise along the Southern Brooklyn waterfront would be encroaching flood waters and not property taxes. Well, property taxes have been hiked for Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay and other coastal areas like Coney Island and the Rockaways, according to a report by the New York Post.

The rise in property taxes comes as a cruel blow to homeowners who have already shelled out thousands on home-repair following Sandy. According to the Post, the news of the tax hikes doesn’t sit well with local residents:

“This is totally insensitive and heartless,” said Ira Zalcman, president of the Manhattan Beach Community Group, which has received more than 30 complaints from residents about the hikes.

“We just sustained one of the worst national disasters in our nation’s history, and now the city is delusional, claiming our property values went up.”

Zalcman said that since Sandy, he has spent roughly $100,000 repairing the basement of his Dover Street oceanfront home, for which he pays more than $7,000 a year in property taxes.

According to Zalcman, the rise in assessed property values do not match market realities. While his home was assessed to be worth an additional $79,000, pushing it over the $2 million mark, he claims he’d be lucky to get $1.5 million should he decide to sell.

Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn was also vexed over the increase in property taxes for storm ravaged homeowners. She has vowed to hold an emergency oversight hearing on February 26 to address the issue.

“It raises real doubts about whether [the Finance Department] is doing enough to ensure fair and accurate assessments …” Quinn told the Post. “As New Yorkers work to rebuild their homes and lives, we cannot allow them to be hit twice.”

There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding why property taxes have gone up in the worst hit regions. City officials told the Post that the property assessments were made before the storm, despite the city’s website claiming they were made on January 5.

Mayor Bloomberg insisted that the rise in beach-front property value represented the overall national trend:

“Prices continue to go up in spite of these things,” he said.

But many local real estate brokers say property values in Big Apple neighborhoods affected by Sandy — such as Manhattan Beach and Coney Island in Brooklyn, the Rockaways and parts of Staten Island — have fallen due to storm damage and prospective buyers now leery of living in high-risk hurricane evacuation zones.

Have you been hit with higher property taxes? Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, who along with Councilman Michael Nelson and many other local pols has spoken out against the hikes, included in a recent e-mail blast information on how to file appeals on increased rates and how to apply for assistance through the Finance Department’s Hurricane Sandy Property Tax Relief Program. Relevant details from Cymbrowitz’s press release are listed below.

Property owners who oppose the hikes have until March 15 to appeal to the city Tax Commission before rates are finalized in May. To print a copy of the form you need, click here.

You also have until this Friday, February 15, to apply for assistance through the Finance Department’s Hurricane Sandy Property Tax Relief program. (The deadline was originally February 1st but was extended.) Download the necessary Property Damage Reporting Application form here.

My office also has hard copies of both forms that we can send you. Feel free to call us at (718) 743-4078, email me at cymbros@assembly.state.ny.us or stop by and visit us at my temporary district office located at 2658 Coney Island Avenue (between Avenues W and X) and we’ll be happy to help you with this or any other issue. We’re open Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., and Fridays until 5 p.m.

New York City is suspending water bills for residents whose properties suffered the worst damage from Superstorm Sandy in an effort to ease the financial burden on victims.

Residential and commercial properties that the Department of Buildings has tagged red or yellow – those which have significant damage or are now uninhabitable – will not have to make a monthly water bill payment until June 1, 2013. No bills will be sent until May 1, 2013.

Standard fees for preoprties where water service has been disconnected from the city’s water supply because of damage will also be waived by the Department of Environmental Protection, and interest fees and collection actions on delinquent accounts have been suspended.

The city has also announced two property tax relief measures for homeowners that suffered storm damages to their properties, including an interest-free extension of the next property tax bill from January 1, 2013, to April 1, 2013.

More than 3,000 properties are eligible for the extension, and the average property tax bill is $506. The City has also proposed to reimburse homeowners for a portion of the taxes paid this fiscal year. The measure requires State approval and if enacted, more than 900 properties would be eligible, with an average rebate of $794. The Finance Department is also working to ensure that the property tax assessments for FY 2014 reflect the post-hurricane conditions.

“For those faced with the hard work of rebuilding after the storm, we are doing all that we can to provide assistance and relief,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a statement announcing the changes. “By deferring water bill payments and other charges, New Yorkers can focus their attention and money on more immediate and pressing needs.”

In a revelation that should surprise no one, ultra rich Manhattan property owners are paying practically bupkus in property taxes compared to the average city property owner.

A report by the New York Times discovered that those who have bought the most fabulous of Manhattan properties, including a pad at 15 Central Park West sold to a Russian billionaire for $88 million dollars, pay a comparatively meager property tax rate.

The average Manhattan property owner pays an average of .78 percent of their property’s value in taxes each year, a good deal less compared to the national average of 1.14 percent. So, for a property worth $88 million, you would expect the owner to return $686,000 dollars a year in taxes. However, because of decades-old rules and regulations put in place that never considered the exploding value of Manhattan property, that Russian billionaire we mentioned only has to pay a comparably scant $59,000 a year in property taxes.

The New York Times explains how such an injustice is allowed,

These comparatively meager official values are the result of a state law dating from decades ago that requires the city to calculate the value of condominiums and co-ops by using rental buildings as comparable properties, instead of apartment sales. At the top of the market, populated by $20 million, $30 million, $40 million, even $88 million apartments, real estate experts say that truly comparable rental buildings essentially do not exist. “The highest-value ones are going to tend to be the hardest to line up,” said George Sweeting, deputy director of the city’s Independent Budget Office. Their resulting effective tax rates, he continued, “will be extremely low, even by the standards of the city.”

So… we gettin’ screwed or what?

[via MBCG]

Get information on code enforcement, property tax exemptions, foreclosure prevention, building permits, low-interest home repair loans and more on Thursday, July 22nd, 6:00 p.m. at Kingsborough Community College, Building U, Room 220. It will run until 7:30 p.m. [UPDATED]

This meeting is hosted by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development located at 100 Gold Street, Room 6E4, New York City 10038.

This info came by way of a public service announcement from the Manhattan Beach Community Group (MBCG).

Correction: An earlier version of this post indicated the event would start at 7:30 p.m.. It will begin at 6:00 p.m. and run until 7:30 p.m. Our apologies for any confusion.