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Blame NYC for high property taxes

Flushing: Mayor de Blasio declared that real estate assessments are unfair, causing property owners to pay too much in real estate taxes. Well, that is just not true. The current state law controlling assessments is good. It provides protection against unfair increases in your current assessment while allowing for corrections to unfair assessments.

It was the result of a 1975 court case called the Hellerstein decision that required the state to come up with a better way to assess properties. A five-year battle ended in an agreement between Democrats, Republicans and a coalition of civic associations to adopt the current law. I was one of five civic leaders who met in the speaker’s office and hammered out the bill.

Now, real estate taxes in New York City are getting unbearable — not because of unfair assessments but because of the mayor’s out-of-control budget. Our state law does not protect NYC homeowners from an increased tax rate because it is totally controlled by the mayor and the City Council. Maybe we need a state law limiting the tax rate on homes, co-ops and condominiums. Your assessment is multiplied by the tax rate to calculate your real estate taxes.

The mayor is trying to put the blame on assessments and away from his incompetence. Don’t let him touch our law. Without its protections, many homeowners could see huge increases in their tax bills.

The only correction I would agree to is taking the co-ops and condominiums out of the commercial section and create another section for them. It should have the same protections enjoyed by one-, two- and three-family homes. John Procida, vice president, Bowne Park Civic Association


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