According to data from the Long Island Board of Realtors, many co-ops and condos in Queens are selling for the same amount or less than what they were selling for a few years ago. Despite this fact, the city Department of Finance, which falls under the purview of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, proposed assessed market valuations that have in many cases increased by high double-digit percentages and in some cases triple digits over last year.
The system is broken and needs to be fixed. In the interim, these assessments must be reversed and the city should move toward a more equitable tax structure for condos and co-ops. The valuation of co-ops citywide, which the DOF announced last January, has come as a shock and I have come to believe the system must change. My building’s valuation — and, consequently, the property taxes of every co-op owner — has risen disproportionately. At this point, our tax burden costs what some people earn in a year.
Single-home tax valuation increases are capped at 6 percent, but our valuations can rise high. What is a co-op but a building full of single-family homes? To tax our co-ops at the same rate as apartment buildings is simply unfair because we own a single unit share in the corporation, not a building full of renters who offset our costs.
I urge the DOF and the city to reconsider how co-ops are taxed. It is only fair to tax co-ops, especially if it is the owner’s primary residence, at the same rate as a single-family home and to cap our tax valuation increases accordingly.