New Yorkers have dealt with high property taxes for so long that complaining about them is about as commonplace as complaining about rush hour traffic on the Van Wyck Expressway. However, the recent public release of expected property value increases by the city has many homeowners howling for relief.
Starting July 1, the city will effect new property values based on assessments made the previous fiscal year. According to the recently released evaluations, property value rates are set to rise by more than 4 percent on average. Some property owners may see their property value rise as high as 30 percent, according to statistics obtained from the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums.
Property values as calculated by the city have been steadily increasing citywide in the past decade. Expensive high-rise developments in neighborhoods like Long Island City and have contributed to this uptick.
The Department of Finance assesses property value yearly, issuing preliminary reports on the value of homes and commercial buildings in January before making final determinations on property value in May. The data is determined based on sales data collected from real estate agents by the city.
A percentage of the determined market value of those homes is then set aside to be taxed. State law caps tax rates on homes at a 6 percent maximum.
Co-ops and condominiums, on the other hand, are placed in a tax bracket with apartment buildings. As a result, they are not subject to sales data and must be valued in the same way as rental apartment buildings.
This year, the DOF estimated that property values for single and multiple-family houses had increased by 1.91 percent in comparison to last year. A statement from the DOF attributed this to increasing sales throughout the city. Assessed values, or the amount that the city is allowed to tax, increased by 3.11 percent.
Co-op and condo owners can also expect a higher property value as the DOF values for those properties increased by 3.6 percent.
The increase comes less than a year after the DOF seemed poised to increase the property tax rates on many Queens co-op owners by more than 40 percent — and some by more than 100 percent. The controversy that followed the announcement led to DOF commissioner David Frankel agreeing to cap tax increases at 10 percent for that year.
Representatives for the Action Committee for Reasonable Real Estate taxes, a group organized in protest of rising property taxes, could not be reached for comment by press time.
Because single and multiple family homes have been subject to tax caps since 1981, rate and value increases for them are not as drastic. However, the sales data that the DOF relies on to determine property value indicates a recovery for a Queens real estate market that has notoriously suffered in recent times.
Figures released by the Long Island Board of Realtors show that the number of purchased properties in the borough has increased by 1.6 percent over the past 12 months in comparison to similar figures from 2010.
However, LIBOR also projects that the sale price of many Queens homes are likely to go down. Current stats show the median sale price for pending home sales to be $325,000, 7.1 percent lower than similar statistics from the previous year.
Homeowners who object to the reported market value of their homes had to have filed for a correction with the New York City Tax Commission by March 15. The finalized assessment on property values is scheduled to be published on May 25.