Crowley calls for freeze in real estate taxes due to COVID-19 pandemic

Photo by Mark Hallum

With the special election for Queens borough president rescheduled for June 23, and early voting set to begin June 13, one candidate has called for New York City to enact a first-ever freeze in real estate taxes this year due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Former Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley is urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to stop increases in all Class 1 and 2 property taxes, including residential, co-op, condo and commercial real estate, and for landlords to transfer these savings to their tenants.

“I am calling on the mayor to stop all planned annual property tax increases that were scheduled to take effect this month, granting a one-time reprieve for businesses and homeowners,” Crowley said. “In addition, for businesses and homeowners hurt by coronavirus, we need an added option to delay real-estate tax payments for 90 days. This is akin to what the governor has secured from banks for homeowners with mortgages and what the IRS has done for income tax filers.”

Crowley has received support in her call for stopping annual tax increases and the 90-day delay option from Queens civic leaders and residents.

“As a longtime co-op owner, I know how important relief is to my neighbors during this horrible crisis,” said Dee-Dee Goidel of North Shore Towers. “We have been through a lot in the past two decades, but this is unlike any of the challenges faced before. I support the plan to stop increases for Class 2 property taxes.”

Bob Friedrich, the president of Glen Oaks Village, added that business and residential co-op communities that provide affordable housing for thousands of New Yorkers must protect their liquidity and preserve their cash if they hope to survive this crisis.

“New York Property taxes that are due April 15 are the largest single expenditure for most co-ops and may put them in a perilous cash crunch position if newly unemployed residents cannot make their monthly maintenance payments during these unprecedented times.” Friedrich said. “It is imperative that New York’s elected officials allow a 90-day interest and penalty-free ‘COVID-19 Waiver’ of property tax payments like the 90-day waiver the governor granted for mortgage payments and the IRS granted to taxpayers filing their income taxes. Protecting working-class co-op communities should be at the forefront of elected officials.”

Warren Schreiber, the co-president of the Presidents Co-op and Condo Council, noted that co-op communities are part of the backbone of the middle class in Queens.

“In these unprecedented times we need to do all that we can to support co-ops and condos,” Schreiber said. “This plan, including the 90-day delay, is crucial as we start to navigate the day to day financial perils on this pandemic.”

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