Tax Revolt in Queens Sticker Shock over City Valuations

When co-op developments throughout Eastern Queens received their assessment valuations this past January—the values upon which property taxes are based— many were in for a rude shock.

According to Bob Friedrich, president of Glen Oaks Village near the Queens-Nassau border and founder of the Presidents Co-op Council, which represents about 75,000 residents living in Northeast Queens co-ops, increases in the past were usually less than 10 percent. But this year however, many of them found double- and triple-digit increases.

Among the worst hit were Cryder Point and LeHavre, both in Whitestone, with 147 percent and 122 percent single-year increases, respectively. As for Glen Oaks Village, it would have to pay an 86 percent increase. (With 2,904 units, Glen Oaks Village is sometimes referred to as the city’s largest co-op. It is more accurately the city’s largest private co-op, since the state-subsidized Co-op City and Starrett City actually have more apartments.)

Contrasted with these figures, “Queens overall had an average valuation of about a 33 percent increase, and the city had an average of a 7 percent increase,” says Warren Schreiber, president of Bay Terrace Cooperative Section 1 in Bayside.

Shortly after getting word of the increases, co-op presidents and board members started calling each other and found that they weren’t really alone. Co-ops all over eastern Queens were affected—in addition to those just named, Georgetown Mews in Kew Gardens Hills, Fresh Meadows in the neighborhood of the same name, Mitchell-Linden in Flushing and others, say Friedrich and state Sen. Toby Stavisky, a Democrat who represents a wide area stretching from Bayside to Woodside, and a supporter of the cooperators.

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