Tax Levy Up $1.6 Billion

Property taxes overall will go up 6.6% under the Fiscal 2018 budget approved by the New York City Council, Tuesday. The Council added $200 million in estimated property tax revenues above the Mayor’s executive budget proposal–for a total increase of about $1.6 billion. The class 2 tax rate was set at $12.729, slightly lower than the current year’s, but will raise more due to assessment increases.

The City is issuing more violations according to a Furman Center study on the State of New York City’s Housing in 2016. There were 236 housing code violations per 1,000 privately-owned rental units in New York City in 2016, up about 3 percent over 2015, the report said. The study also looked at poverty in different neighborhoods and found that the share of households earning under $40,000 grew 3% from 2000 to 2015, while the share earning between $40,000 and $100,000 declined 3%.

One third of the 4500 audited tenants in low income units of 80/20 developments no longer meet the income requirements for new tenants, according to a study by the State Comptroller’s office. Some households earn more than $250,000 and “Each of the households with incomes of more than $250,000 paid rents of less than $1,000 per month, with the lowest monthly rent being about $780,” the audit found. “… it is not clear that New York State‚Äôs low-income households optimally benefit from the Program because many affordable units are occupied by tenants with relatively high annual incomes,” the report concluded. On top of that, the audit focused on four buildings with 363 subsidized units that received at least $427 million in tax incentives, or $1.17 million per subsidized unit.

No one can deny those units are in demand. 93,000 people applied for 104 new subsidized units at Essex Crossing in the latest housing lottery.

New York is not alone. The National Low Income Housing Coalition just released a report showing that a 40 hour per week minimum wage worker cannot afford a two bedroom apartment anywhere in the United States. In New York City, a person would have to work 130 hours at minimum wage to afford a two bedroom, 135 hours in Westchester, and 149 hours per week in Nassau/Suffolk.

Elected officials, however, keep discouraging new subsidized projects in their own neighborhoods. The most recent failure: a 72 unit project planned in Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn with 18 subsidized units that would have been “too big and too dense,” for the local councilman.

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