Many regular readers of The Cooperator doubtless remember the struggle that ensued in the spring of 2011 when co-op officers and elected officials in Eastern Queens declared a “tax revolt” against the city for huge increases in assessed valuations.
Well, even after a temporary settlement, the tax revolt was never totally silent, and it looks like it’s about to break out again. And this time, the co-op owners seemingly have the city Comptroller’s Office on their side.
Every year, the Department of Finance releases its assessed valuations for buildings in New York City. These amounts then are reflected in the tax rate. While most increases were less than 10 percent before 2011, at the beginning of that year, some of these co-ops received increases in the high double and even triple digits.
For example, Cryder Point and LeHavre, both in Whitestone, had 147 percent and 122 single-year increases, respectively. And Glen Oaks Village, the city’s largest garden-apartment complex, would have received an 86 percent increase.
“In the old days,” says Warren Schreiber, president of Bay Terrace Section 1 and co-president of the Presidents Co-op & Condo Council, “you had increases of 2 percent and 3 percent. A 5 percent increase was a big increase.” The aforementioned large increases, he says, are “almost like a back-door tax that doesn’t have to go past the City Council and doesn’t have to be signed off by the mayor.”