“Property taxes are one of the top issues affecting affordability in our city for middle-class families. Unlike nearly every other municipality in the state, our city does not have a 2% cap and the de Blasio Administration has increased the property tax levy roughly 50% since taking office in 2013,” said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I-Brooklyn, Staten Island). “Property taxes were a top issue in the Mayoral race and Mayor de Blasio committed then to establish a property tax commission to address the inequities with the current property tax system that has homeowners in the low-and-middle income neighborhoods in the outer boroughs, such as Staten Island and Southern Brooklyn, subsidizing the property taxes of the wealthier, most affluent neighborhoods of our city. People across the five boroughs testified over a year ago and he promised that his commission would present a report of its findings and recommendations before the end of the year. There are three weeks left in the year and still no report.”

To make her case, Malliotakis previously pointed to her own property tax bills in comparison to those of Mayor de Blasio, in which he spent $2,000 less on his home with triple the value. Malliotakis has called this the “real Tale of Two Cities.” She has also held rallies, initiated petitions and drafted legislation to address this inequity, cap the taxes and protect seniors living on fixed incomes who have resided in their homes for a long time. She was instrumental in getting a Staten Islander added to the commission after the borough most impacted by the inequity was the only one excluded.

Under the city’s current property tax system, how much homeowners pay is based on the assessed value of one-, two-, and three-family homes — known as Class 1 properties. That rate can’t go up more than 6 % every year or 20 % over five years. As a result, in neighborhoods where home values slowly increase, generally in low and middle income neighborhoods, homeowners will generally have higher property taxes than those with homes in more desirable areas like Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn.

Malliotakis also expressed concern that the rent regulation law passed in Albany this session will have a profound effect on property tax inequity. Under the current property tax system, values of buildings are based on net rent income. By artificially keeping rents low, property values will be artificially low. Malliotakis predicts this will result in the city losing billions of dollars annually and is concerned Mayor de Blasio and the City Council will look to make up the shortfall on the backs of the same homeowners in the outer boroughs already paying inequitable tax rates. Malliotakis says this will be an unintended consequence of a flawed law the governor and her colleagues adopted.

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