Property Tax Reform

New York has some of the highest housing costs in the country, a reality that affects both tenants and homeowners alike. While New York has taken far-reaching steps to ease the burden of housing costs on tenants, much more work needs to be done to help ease the burden of a broken property tax system on working families. 

 

New York’s property tax system has been broken for 40+ years - we just need the will and the leadership to take steps to fix it. Here’s where I want to start: 

Expand the "circuit breaker" tax credit for high property taxes

All too often, rising property taxes disproportionately affect outer-borough working-class and middle-class families with stagnant or fixed incomes. In 2021, New York passed a version of my circuit breaker tax credit to give relief to homeowners who earn up to a certain income and pay a certain percentage of that income in property taxes. We need to expand the eligibility of this circuit breaker to benefit more families, particularly in New York City.

 

Level the playing field between wealthy and working class neighborhoods

One of the biggest reasons why New York City’s property tax system is broken is because of the 6% assessment cap that artificially lowers the relative effective property tax rate that wealthier neighborhoods pay versus working class communities. We need to remove the artificial assessment cap for wealthy families so that everyone pays their fair share. 

 

Pass the “Truth in Budgeting Act” to improve property tax transparency

One way that the property tax system keeps hurting working families is because the system is so complex and convoluted, no one can quite understand how or why their taxes continue to go up year after year even when their home values remain stable. My “Truth in Budgeting Act” would require New York City to plainly and clearly explain how the city calculates an individual’s property tax and, more importantly, spell out in detail when their effective tax rates grow by more than 2% in a year.