The Refund Roller Coaster The Mayor vs. The City Council

With New York City rebounding from a sluggish economy and resulting budget deficit, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg reached a budget agreement with the City Council that includes a $400 dollar property tax refund to city homeowners, who bore the brunt of last year's 18.5 percent property tax increase-the largest single property tax increase in the city's history. The $47 billion budget was sealed with a handshake between Mayor Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Gifford Miller at City Hall late in the evening of June 21st, and was promptly whisked off to Albany for approval. Legislators, however, adjourned for the summer without approving a state budget or the homeowner's rebate plan. It is expected though that the lawmakers will reconvene a summer session to approve the budget and rebate plan.

If that happens and the plan is approved, according to Jordan Barowitz, a mayoral spokesman, homeowners can expect to receive rebate checks later this fall.

A Look at the Numbers

According to the mayor's office, Class 1 and Class 2 homeowners will receive the tax rebate through a program that will cost the city approximately $250 million. Approximately 600,000 owner-occupants of one-, two- and three-family homes, co-ops and condos will receive the $400 refund.

According to Gregory J. Carlson, executive director of the Federation of New York Housing Cooperatives & Condominiums (FNYHC), when all the figuring and re-figuring is done, the $400 refund may not be exactly $400.

"On first glance," says Carlson, "everybody thinks they're getting $400. But co-op and condo owners will get $285 or something in that neighborhood."

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