Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics

property taxes

property taxes

  • Public Advocate Wins Lawsuit Over Property Tax Warrants, Though City Also Gets Relief

    Jumaane Williams at the Public Advocate's Office (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Two years ago, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams used an obscure City Charter provision to withhold his signature on property tax warrants in order to leverage changes to the city budget. The provision required both Williams and the City Clerk to sign those warrants before they were executed by the city. But the city went ahead with property tax collections nonetheless and, eventually, in March 2021, Williams filed suit that the administration had broken the law.

    On Friday, State Supreme Court Judge Verna Saunders

    ...
  • California Outpaces New York in Equitable Inflation Relief

    Gov. Hochul discusses the budget (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    California concluded its state budget with Governor Gavin Newsom’s signature on June 30, choosing a different path than New York to provide its residents a break from inflation.

    California chose to provide modest relief to nearly all its residents through an income tax rebate this October. The Governor’s...

  • De Blasio Pledges Last Gasp Property Tax Reform Effort

    2 daily imagery exercising

    New York City (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    After getting "derailed" by the pandemic, Mayor Bill de Blasio is reviving one of his earliest and most delayed mayoral commitments: to reform an out-of-date and unequal property tax system. The city's Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform will begin holding public hearings, originally scheduled for last March, on its preliminary recommendations and will produce a final report by the time de Blasio leaves office at the end of the year, he said Thursday

    ...
  • De Blasio Delay Plus Pandemic Means Property Tax Reform Appears Off the Table This Year

    Mayor de Blasio property tax reform dead

    Mayor de Blasio's slow-play on property tax reform has now been compounded (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Offie)


    The start of the year 2020 offered what many believed to be the most promising steps in decades to revamping New York's confusing and unfair property tax system. In January, an advisory commission established by Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Council, which was tasked with comprehensively assessing and reevaluating the property tax system, released a set of recommendations. While coming much later than many had

    ...
  • Commission Releases Long-Awaited Recommendations for Fairer City Property Tax System

    m b ncb

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    A long-awaited report from the city’s Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform was released Thursday, outlining recommendations for potentially drastic changes to the way residential properties are taxed across the five boroughs.

    The report, which contains ten recommendations to update and add equity to New York’s vast property tax system, comes after months of delay and almost a year after the commission, created by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, completed its mandated public

    ...
  • 6 Years of De Blasio Dodging and Delaying Property Tax Reform

    availability presser questions

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Demetrius Freeman/Mayor's Office)


    Reforming New York’s property tax system has for decades confounded mayors, legislatures, and governors who have struggled with (or avoided) the technical and political consequences of changing a long-standing system commonly described as outdated and irrational. When Mayor Bill de Blasio finishes his second term at the end of 2021, there is a chance he will be leaving office in the same boat.

    With the ...

  • City's Property Tax Reform Delay Threatens Promise to Pursue Essential Changes in Albany

    ocean bayside apt

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    It is taking more time than promised for the city’s property tax reform commission to come out with its initial and final reports with recommendations for changes to the antiquated and unfair system, a delay that threatens to undermine the de Blasio administration’s footing in Albany, where many of the changes would need to be made.

    The Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform, created by Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson in 2018, was expected to issue a preliminary report with

    ...
  • What's The [DATA] Point? $28.8 billion, the State's Four-Year Budget Gap

    whats the data point


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 86 -- $28.8 billion, with Andrew Rein, Andrew Perry, and Ana Champeny of Citizens Budget Commission [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    regional eco dev$28.8 billion is the cumulative four-year budget gap facing New York State between fiscal years 2020 and 2023. CBC President Andrew Rein joined the

    ...
  • What to Watch for When the City's Property Tax Commission Finally Issues Its Report

    bay ridge vnb

    (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    “To be the fairest big city, you need a fair tax system. For too long, New York City taxpayers have had to grapple with a property tax system that is too opaque, too complex, and just feels unfair,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in May 2018 after announcing the creation of a commission to examine the issue. “New Yorkers need property tax reform, and this advisory commission will put us on the road to achieve it,” he said.

    When the New York City Advisory Commission on Property Tax Reform releases its

    ...
  • State Senate Looks Ahead to Complicated Task of Property Tax Reform

    sen br be3

    Wednesday's Senate roundtable (photo: @NYSenBenjamin)


    A roomful of top experts on New York’s property tax system -- an opaque topic that nonetheless touches every New Yorker, property-owner or not -- gathered for a roundtable discussion convened by state lawmakers Wednesday in downtown Manhattan. They were assembled at the hearing by State Senator Brian Benjamin, a Manhattan Democrat and chair of the Senate’s budget and revenues committee, to discuss solutions to the antiquated and unequal levy system that many want to see tackled in 2020, however overdue the action would

    ...
  • An Old, Unfair System: New York City's Property Tax Conundrum - Part III - The City's Bottom Line

    gov and may deb pro

    Mayor de Blasio (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor Bill de Blasio


    This is the third and final part of a three-part series on New York City's antiquated and unfair property tax system, its complications and inequities, the underway task of reforming it, and prospects for the future.

    Read part one - Taking on the Difficult Task - here.

    ...

  • An Old, Unfair System: New York City’s Property Tax Conundrum - Part II - Deep and Complex Inequities

    maybdb rem

    (photo: Edwin J. Torres/ Mayor's Office)


    This is part two of a three-part series. Read part one - Taking on the Difficult Task - here. (Skip to part three - The City's Bottom Line - here.)

    Elected officials and their critics alike have decried the complexity and inequality of the state’s property tax system.

    ...
  • An Old, Unfair System: New York City’s Property Tax Conundrum - Part I - Taking on the Difficult Task

    mayor deblasio clears

    Mayor de Blasio shovels snow outside one of his two Brooklyn houses (photo: Rob Bennett/Mayor's Office)


    This is part one of a three-part series. Skip to part two - Deep and Complex Inequities - here.

    In May 2018, after years of criticism that New York City’s property tax system lacks equity, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced they would empanel a commission of “blue

    ...
  • The Fading Promise of Property Tax Reform

    may bdb cc speaker corey jo

    (photo: Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office)


    Despite promising that in his second term he would take on the challenge of property tax reform, Mayor de Blasio appears to be shying away as many leaders have done many times before.

    New York City government is extremely dependent upon its property tax, which will generate roughly $30 billion this coming fiscal year, more than any other single revenue source. Not surprisingly, New Yorkers gripe about their property taxes almost as much as about the subways.

    The laws and methods

    ...
  • Cuomo's Budget Priority Balancing Act

    gov cuomo long island no tax

    Gov. Cuomo on Long Island (photo: governor's office)


    Before Democrats reclaimed the state Senate last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo spent years triangulating with the Democratic-controlled Assembly, two factions of Senate Democrats, and the Republican Senate majority. The arrangement allowed him a heavy hand over the legislative and budget agendas in Albany and gave him the ability to claim credit and deflect blame as he saw fit (though critics didn’t always buy his explanations). Progressive legislation regularly withered on the vine

    ...
  • What's the [DATA] Point? 1981, New York's Property Tax System

    whats the data point


    What's The [Data] Point? Episode 59 - 1981 [You can download What's The [Data] Point? wherever you get your podcasts, including on iTunes]

    tempsnip

    The data point for today is 1981, the year in which the State Legislature enacted S7000A, the landmark bill that formalized the current property tax system for New York City. A response to the Hellerstein case, which found the system was in

    ...
  • A Misguided Mandate in Reforming the City Property Tax System

    de Blasio Corey Johnson town hall

    Mayor de Blasio & Speaker Johnson hold a town hall (photo: Ed Reed/Mayor's Office)


    This May, Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson announced an advisory commission to recommend reforms to New York City’s property tax system. According to its website, the commission is charged with “developing proposals to make the system simpler, clearer, and fairer.” However, it has also been given the mandate to do so in a way that is revenue neutral -- a goal that is both counterproductive and unnecessary.

    For eight years, I had

    ...
  • City Council Pushes Property Tax Rebate as De Blasio Continues Stall on Broader Reform

    Corey Johnson City Council hearing

    Speaker Johnson & Council members (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    The New York City Council has been pushing for temporary relief for lower- and middle-class homeowners in this year’s budget, calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to fund a one-time $400 property tax rebate that would cost about $187 million in total. Council Members, some of whom are homeowners themselves and could potentially qualify for the rebate, say it’s a much needed measure that could help thousands of New Yorkers reduce their annual tax burden.

    The

    ...