The state Senate and Assembly have passed legislation that would gradually raise a partial tax abatement for co-op and condo owners during the next three years.
Last fall, elected officials pleaded with Gov. Andrew Cuomo to address the expired tax abatement that could leave owners of the units facing exorbitant maintenance fee increases.
But the state Legislature has raised a tax abatement for co-ops and condos from 17.5 percent to 25 percent in 2013, 26.5 percent in 2014 and to 28 percent in 2015.
Properties with average assessed value less than $50,000 – or approximately $500,000 market value - would be eligible.
“This is a major victory for the vast majority of co-op owners in northeast Queens, including thousands of senior citizens on fixed incomes,” state Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, D-Bayside, said. “This progressive legislation ends the tax abatement for investors and those who are not using their properties as their primary residence and transfers the cost savings to our middle-class families and seniors so that they can afford to stay in their homes.”
Braunstein said he believes more comprehensive reform is needed, but the legislation would ensure that co-op property taxes are comparable to those of single-family homes.
Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, D-Forest Hills, was strongly in favor of the tax abatement, as well.
"Thousands of Queens families face the challenge of living in a city with a burdensomely high cost of living," Hevesi said in a statement. "By increasing the affordability of housing, not only are individuals more inclined to stay and raise their families in Queens, but are better able to spend their hard earned wages on things that contribute to the growth and livelihood of our local economy.”
Under the legislation, units in property with average unit assessed value more than $50,000, but less or equal to $55,000, will receive partial abatements of 22.5 percent, 23.8 percent and 25.2 percent, respectively, during the next three years.
Dwelling units in property with average unit assessment values more than $55,000, but less or equal to $60,000, will receive partial abatements of 20 percent, 21.2 percent and 22.5 percent during the next three years.
And units with assessment values more than $60,000 will receive abatements of 17.5 percent for the next three years.
“For the past 15 years, the city of New York has been providing tax abatements to co-ops and condos in order to address the disparity between property taxes paid by owners of co-ops and private homes,” state Sen. Toby Stavisky, D-Whitestone, said. “While what is really needed is wholesale revision and reform of the classification system, the abatement we passed in Albany remedies the inequities.”