NYC Council proposes $250 property tax rebate

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito with New York City Council members announcing their Budget Response on Tuesday, April 14.
Photo by William Alatriste, NYC Council Photographer

The New York City Council has proposed providing lower-income homeowners a property tax rebate for fiscal year 2016.

On Tuesday, April 14, the New York City Council released its Budget Response to the Mayor’s Fiscal 2016 Preliminary Budget which totals $77.7 billion and includes $56.9 billion in city funds.

The recommendations provided in the Council’s Budget Response seek inclusion into the Mayor’s Fiscal 2016 Executive Budget which is set for a May release.

Among these recommendations, the council has proposed a $250 property tax rebate for residential property owners of 1-, 2- or 3-family homes, co-ops, and condos with incomes below $100,000.

This proposed rebate would cost the city $95 million in fiscal year 2016.

The Department of Finance’s 2015/2016 tentative assessment roll reveals an average tax bill increase of $228 for 1-family homes.

Due to the city’s expanding real estate market and the property tax assessment process, homeowners have witnessed an increase in their tax bills, but not in their incomes.

“Too often, homeowners have seen their property taxes rise, even as their incomes remain stagnant,” Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said.

“The council’s property tax rebate program will provide needed relief to homeowners and help keep home ownership attainable for working and middle class families,” she added.

Councilman James Vacca explained increased assessments result in an increased real estate tax which proves financially problematic for homeowners who cannot afford to move.

The last time NYC offered a homeowner rebate was from the years 2005 through 2009.

“This year there’s a surplus and we wish to give this money back to the taxpayers. Hopefully, this proposed property tax rebate is a sign for people to realize something must be done to help the struggling middle class family in our city and state,” Councilman Vacca said.

Vacca explained that the City Council and the Mayor will be negotiating this proposed property tax rebate as well as the rest of their recommendations over the next few months.

The budget must be approved by both parties by Tuesday, June 30.

Though reforming the property tax system would flatten increases, the property tax rebate is an easier option in providing relief to lower-income homeowners.

The council explained the proposed rebate averages would approximate the tax increase for single-family homes expected this year.

“Lowering property taxes for New Yorkers both in and outside of New York City is a top priority. I applaud Councilman Vacca’s efforts to promote homeownership and reduce property tax bills for residents across the five boroughs. In the coming weeks, I look forward to putting forth this legislative proposal in Albany that will allow NYC to provide real relief for our hard-working homeowners who need it most,” Senator Jeff Klein expressed.

“The homeowners that I have spoken to about this proposed property tax rebate are all in agreement for it,” Mary Jane Musano, Waterbury-LaSalle Community and Homeowners Association president revealed.

“We live in a time where every penny counts and this proposed property tax rebate would certainly be welcomed within the community and is very much needed for homeowners, especially for elderly residents,” Musano added.

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