City Councilman Joe Borelli and Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis held a Thursday morning news conference with on the steps of New York’s City Hall, where they called for reform and the overhaul of a property tax system that is famous for its inequities and which unjustly penalizes many outer-borough homeowners. The two Staten Island legislators spoke about the frustration of their constituents and homeowners (and renters who see property taxes passed on to them) in all 5 boroughs. Assemblywoman Malliotakis compared her tax bill to that of Mayor de Blasio’s, which she described as, “a glaring example of the very real inequities of our current property tax system.”
Councilman Joe Borelli said, “We can’t discuss a ‘Tale of Two Cities’ without acknowledging that our property tax system creates an inequitable system where many of us pay the burden of those who legally and systematically pay far less than their property is comparatively worth. This will be a great undertaking and despite being talked about for too long, no action has been taken to begin. I know Nicole will push this commission forward on Day 1.”
Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis said, “As a homeowner, I share the frustration felt by so many in our city. For a glaring example of the very real inequities of our current property tax system, all one has to do is compare my tax bill to that of Mayor de Blasio. I pay $5,521 in property taxes on a home that is valued at $549,000. While Mayor de Blasio’s only pays $3,581 on his Park Slope home which is valued at a whopping $1,970,000. In other words; he’s paying nearly $2,000 less in taxes on a property that is worth $1,421,000 more. Four years ago Bill de Blasio ran on a platform of closing the gap in the “Tale of Two Cities” but he has done nothing to close it and seems perfectly fine with lower income middle class New Yorkers subsidizing the homes of millionaires, including his own. Conveniently for Mayor de Blasio, out of all the City Council districts across New York City, it is his which has the lowest median effective tax rate of 0.32%.
“Inequities like this cannot be justified, which is why we need to start from scratch and base property taxes on market rate after a property is sold. The city is failing to tax the most valuable homes at a rate closer to their market value. A fair plan must also include protections for senior citizens and lower income earners like a property tax cap or circuit breakers. As Mayor, within my first 60 days, I will establish a bi-partisan commission comprised of city council members, state legislators, good government groups, tax experts and my office to examine options to propose in Albany.
“In the meantime, as Mayor, I will control the rapid increase in taxes homeowners are paying by not increasing the property tax levy–which has increased by 28% under Mayor de Blasio. In 2013 the property tax levy was approximately $20 Billion in 2017 the city raised the levy to $26 Billion. The levy is projected to rise again next year by $2 Billion. That is unacceptable.
“Every municipality in our state has a property tax cap except New York City, simply because Bill de Blasio went to Albany to personally lobby against it. He made sure the city was deemed exempt; insuring a stream of revenue to help pay for the runaway spending that has become the hallmark of his administration. Unlike millionaire Bill de Blasio, I understand that New Yorkers are among the highest taxed people in the nation and they simply can’t afford to be viewed as an unlimited source of money. That’s why, in addition to a property tax cap, I also support a spending cap for New York City, like the one we instituted in the state legislature.”