Lawmakers: Axe Tax Break for High-End Condos and Coops to Help Fund NYCHA

By Jarrett Murphy, April 8, 2019

The state budget found new money for a lot of important causes—education aid, transit improvements, clean water—but not for public housing, despite the persistent crisis at New York’s housing authority. While the city would be on the hook to spend billions on NYCHA under a proposed federal settlement, the authority will need a lot more to address its $32 billion in capital needs.

Maybe high-end coop and condo owners can help! Two Manhattan lawmakers, Assemblyman Robert Rodriguez and Sen. Brian Kavanagh, have proposed rescinding the condo/coop property tax abatement for the top 10 percent of owners and directing the $170 million in resulting revenue to NYCHA.

Noting that the abatement is up for renewal in Albany this Spring, Rodriguez said at a press event outside East Harlem’s Taft Houses on Monday, “We think this is a really important opportunity to reevaluate what we’ve given to the top 10 percent of owners, who clearly don’t need it.” He was joined at the event by representations of the Citizens Housing Planning Council (CHPC), Community Service Society of New York, Community Voices Heard and New York Housing Conference.

According to research by CHPC, the top 10 percent of condo owners are those whose properties are assessed at $200,000 or more. (That’s assessed value, the official city determination of taxable amount, which is always well shy of any property’s market value.)

The abatement was launched in 1997 and, CHPC notes, has been growing in value in recent years even as the number of units receiving the abatement has dropped. The value of the abatement depends on assessed value. It’s a 28 percent property-tax break for properties valued at $50,000 or less, and 17.5 percent for properties assessed at $60,001 or more….