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Property Taxes

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I’ve gotten a lot of calls about the higher taxes we received from the city. Here’s a reply from Robbie Schwach, deputy chief of staff for the 32 District – NYC Council:

Many homeowners may have suffered from “sticker shock” as they opened their mail last month. The NYC Department of Finance sent out their annual “Notice of Property Value” to property owners a few weeks ago. Most Rockaway homeowners saw large increases in the city’s estimate of the market value of their homes. As property taxes are calculated through a convoluted process that is initially based on a home’s market value, this meant an increase in property taxes.

The city doesn’t inspect homes to determine your market value. They don’t know that you installed a new kitchen or finished your basement. Their numbers are based on the sales of similar homes and property in the last three years. If the local market goes up, the market value of your home probably will too. The city re-evaluated home sales prices after Superstorm Sandy and prices nosedived. There was a dip in property taxes too, but not surprisingly, no one called to complain. Home sales have improved since then and most homeowners have seen gradual increases in the market value of their homes. The latest 2017 market values are finally returning most homes to their prestorm value and some have already exceeded it. In addition to the raise in taxes because the market improved, the city increased the rate of property taxes on one to three family homes by almost half a percentage point, from 19.157 percent to 19.554 percent.

Your actual property taxes are based on the assessed value of your home, which the city pegs at six percent of your market value. Deduct property tax exemptions available for qualified seniors, veterans, crime victims and people with certain disabilities and you have your taxable value. Now multiply the current tax rate, 19.554 percent (up from 19.157 percent from last year) by your taxable value and you should get your annual property tax bill.

For example: If the market value of your home is $500,000, your assessed value is six percent of that equal $30,000. If you have no exemptions, as a one to three family home owner you would pay $19.554 percent of that $30,000 assessed value, or about $6,000 annually.

The slight recent increase in percentage coupled with the rise in market value accounts for the raises most homeowners are experiencing.

The staff in NYC Councilman Eric Ulrich’s office can help you to understand your bill, tax rates, and discuss exemptions you may be entitled to. They’re hosting a Property Tax Town Hall with the NYC Department of Finance on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall at 713 Shad Creek Road in Broad Channel from 6-8 p.m.

Call the Rockaway office at 718- 318-6411 or email the council member’s deputy chief of staff, Robby Schwach at RSchwach@council.- nyc.gov if you have questions about your property taxes or the town hall session.



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