One of the most popular attractions at
One seminar - entitled
"Unfortunately," says Sonenberg, "unlike a "˜normal' corporation where the board is involved in everything on a day-to-day basis, cooperative shareholders tend to funnel daily business out through a managing agent. It's not that the board needs to involve themselves in the minutiae of everything, but they should be involved and proactive."
According to Sonenberg, "There are certain expenses on a co-op's books that are not variable. Those are your mortgage interest expense numbers, and your real estate taxes. There's not a whole lot you can do on that, but you can petition the city to reduce your real estate taxes every year. At minimum, you should make sure you've got a certiorari attorney to file your taxes. Not every co-op in the world gets a tax rebate, but it's worth it to do the work and file."
And there's more, says Sonenberg. "Another thing is the "˜J-51' tax abatement. When a building undergoes a large capital improvement - such as installing a new elevator, for example - it may be eligible for a J-51 tax abatement, which lowers real estate taxes. A development in the Bronx we're working with just put in new elevators and windows and was eligible for huge tax abatements. It's a good thing to look into."