Give Me a J-51 Expanding Tax Abatement Program Will Help With Co-op & Condo Maintenance

New York State Senator Tony Avella and Assemblyman Edward Braunstein, (center), speak at a press conference about the J-51 tax abatement bill on June 27, 2016 (Office of State Senator Tony Avella)

Editor’s Note:  The web article  published on 7/14/16 “Give Me a J-51” by John Zurz on legislation sponsored by State Sen. Tony Avella and Assemblyman Edward Braunstein  on the J-51 tax abatement program, has been corrected to clarify that the bills have not yet been signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.  The bills received unanimous legislative support and await Cuomo’s signature or veto. Additionally, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently approved separate legislation to extend the program to June 30, 2019.

Described as a thoroughly unsexy issue, the J-51 tax abatement for co-ops and condos is proposed to be expanded to $32,000, thanks to bills sponsored by New York State State Assemblyman Edward Braunstein (D-26) and Senator Tony Avella (D-11). 

The legislation has passed the State Senate and Assembly, and now awaits Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature or veto, although there is every indication he will sign it into law.

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2 Comments

  • Thanks for the article Mr. Zurz. As our HDFC co-op recently underwent a $3 million structural rehab, but collected only $9,000 a year in J-51 tax reductions from this, I'd like to know if we should have gotten more of a tax break. I was;t clear from your article what you mean by $30,000 or $32,000 in "assessments." Our co-op shareholders pay maintenance, to offset the cost of running the building, and an additional "assessment" of a few hundred dollars a month to cover the cost of the loan we took to pay for the work. What assessments are you referring to? What does the $32,000 limit refer to? I'm also intrigued when you quote a condo association president as saying that they were able to write off 38% of the window cost with a J-51 credit. Perhaps you could follow this up and explain how this works for co-ops? Thanks
  • By assessments, Peter meant on the real estate tax formula, not the additional assessment added to the base maintenance. A J-51 property tax exemption effectively freezes a building’s assessed value for tax purposes, so the owner does not have to pay property tax on the increase in value resulting from the rehabilitation work. In the case of a building worth $1 million before the work is done, and $2 million after the rehabilitation work, with a J-51 exemption the building owner pays taxes only on the initial $1 million assessed value, less any abatement as described above. The law specifies certain classes of work that are eligible for J-51 benefits, without making a distinction between exemptions and abatements. However, abatements are much more common than exemptions, because in order for a building to receive an exemption, the rehabilitation work must have increased the assessed value of the property. Only major upgrades will have an appreciable effect on property values. Therefore most rehabilitation work qualifies for J-51 abatements, but not exemptions. In most cases, the buildings that do receive exemptions are also eligible to receive abatements. http://www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/developers/tax-incentives-j51.page