Elected officials from northeast Queens are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reconvene the State Legislature before the end of the year to prevent an increase in co-op and condo real property taxes.
Councilman Mark Weprin, D-Oakland Gardens, and state Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, are both calling on Cuomo to either force the Legislature to reach a deal to prevent the property taxes from skyrocketing in January 2013 or to ensure that the benefits of an abatement for co-op and condo owner remain intact until a deal is reached.
“For most Queens co-ops and condos, the tax abatement is vital and its elimination would surely wreak havoc on the budgets of co-ops, condos and the middle class families who make their homes therein,” said Weprin, who is the founder of the City Council’s Co-op and Condo caucus.
The city will continue to honor the $430 million tax break for condos and co-ops that expired on June 30, despite news that the Legislature will not convene before the end of the year to renew it, Crain’s New York Business reported.
The Legislature had reached a deal to extend and enhance the real property tax abatement at the end of the legislative session in June.
But the legislative body adjourned without enacting the measure and planned to take up the issue at the end of the year.
In a letter to Cuomo and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Avella wrote that the expiration of the abatement for co-op and condo owners could result in an approximate increase of $1,200 or more per unit if it was not renewed.
“Such an increase will cause extreme financial hardship for the thousands of co-op and condominium owners throughout the city, many of whom are on fixed budgets that absolutely cannot afford to absorb any increase,” the senator wrote.
Warren Schreiber, president of the Bay Terrace Community Alliance, said he was hopeful that “cooler heads would prevail” in the matter.
“If the increases were allowed to go into effect, it would mean massive maintenance increases for middle class owners of co-ops and condos,” he said. “Someone’s maintenance could increase up to $100 more per month or more. It would be disastrous. We’re talking a lot of money.”