For the last three years State Senator Tony Avella, D-11, who represents the Queens neighborhood of Bayside, has been trying to get co-ops and condominiums in the state of New York reclassified under the tax code so as to lower the amount of property taxes residents of these buildings need to pay.
It was co-op homeowners in Avella’s district that contacted him in 2011 when they were hit with double and triple-digit increases in their tax assessment valuations, based in part on how they were appraised. As of right now co-ops and condos are in Class 2, which groups them together with rentals, despite the fact that these are not rental properties.
“One of the things that I’ve been talking about to co-ops and condos in my district is the inordinate property tax that they pay,” says Avella. “I felt that co-ops and condos are still basically single-unit occupancy—it’s a single-family per unit. So why aren’t they treated the same in terms of the property tax code, like the Class 1 properties—the one, two and three-family homes? So I started taking a look at it and realized that the higher property taxes are a result of co-ops and condos being in Class 2 with commercial retail properties, which brings their property taxes up and unfairly allows for greater increases in any one year.”
What began as a conversation with former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s Finance Commissioner David Frankel has become New York State Senate bill S893, now in its third year of existence. Avella’s bill was referred to the Real Property Taxation Committee and delivered to the New York State Assembly. It is currently waiting to be voted out of committee.