Co-op shareholders and condo owners in New York City may not always agree on how the common areas
in their buildings should be managed, maintained or decorated, but they've always seen eye to eye when it comes to saving money. Everyone agrees that real estate taxes are simply too high, and that it's unfair for co-op and condo owners to be taxed at a rate four to five times higher than owners of single family homes.
Nowthanks to the diligent efforts of local reform groups like the Manhattan-based Action Committee for Reasonable Real Estate Taxesmembers of the co-op and condo community in New York City have reason to celebrate. They can expect to receive a property tax break of up to 17.5 percent over the next three years. On July 2 Governor George E. Pataki signed into law a bill aimed at providing tax abatements to owners of co-op and condo apartments in New York City.
Based on a proposal sent in June by the New York City Council to the New York State Legislature, the law designates about $198.5 million in tax abatements over the next three years to individuals who own fewer than three co-op or condo units. The law also requires city officials to file a plan with the state legislature by the end of this year for permanently eliminating the imbalance. In 1997, $8.5 million is earmarked for these abatements. That figure increases to $70 million in 1998 and to $120 million in 1999.
According to Peter Murphy, a spokesman for Governor Pataki's Division of the Budget in Albany, The Governor is committed to lower taxes and to reforming property taxes to make the system more equitable and less burdensome. Signing this tax abatement bill moves us in that direction.