One assemblyman is mounting a campaign to curb a tax perk extended to those who own the priciest co-ops and condos, directing the proceeds instead toward maintenance of the city’s public housing portfolio.
With roughly three weeks left in the state legislative session, Assemb. Robert Rodriguez (D-Manhattan and Bronx) is pushing a bill that would alter the cooperative and condominium property tax abatement that is slated to expire June 30.
Rodriguez’s measure would nix the benefit for those who own homes with billable assessed values — a fraction of the market value — of at least $200,000. This would cull about $170 million annually — $3.3 billion with bond financing — from 30,000 homes, according to the assemblyman’s office.
"These are tax dollars that should be going to those who need it most," said Rodriguez, of East Harlem, who said he represents the district with the largest number of public housing residents. "We’ve been looking very closely at the issues around heating and water and roofs, and I think those consistently end up being the biggest problems during wintertime … Those are the bare essentials."
The city forgoes about $600 million annually through the cooperative and condominium property tax abatement, which is the second-largest tax expenditure in the city, according to the assemblyman’s office. The average abatement extended amounts to about $1,890, but Rodriguez said several luxury homeowners, including President Donald Trump, have benefited from it.
A spokeswoman for the Democratic majority in the Assembly did not respond on the record to a request for comment.
In the State Senate, Brian Kavanagh, who represents lower Manhattan and parts of western Brooklyn, is sponsoring the legislation. The Democratic leadership of the State Senate did not respond to a request for comment.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office will review the legislation, according to spokeswoman Caitlin Girouard.
Interim NYCHA Chairwoman Kathryn Garcia said on Max & Murphy’s podcast that she had not been briefed on the proposal yet.