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NYSBA VOTER VOICE ALERT -- Tell Your Legislator to Oppose The Condo Bill Today!

Today, the State Assembly will debate on the floor A.3491 (Galef) which would permit municipalities to opt out of the current assessment methodology applied to condominium and cooperative units located outside the City of New York and Nassau County.

Under existing law, there is a limitation placed on the assessment of condos and co-ops so that the aggregate assessment of the units would not exceed the total valuation of the property if it were assessed as one parcel.  This assessment methodology was enacted to reflect the fact that co-ops and condos do not require the same level of governmental service as residential subdivisions.

We are not sure about the status of the accompanying  Senate bill S.5946 (Reichlin-Melnick), but since it was amended to match Galef’s bill we are concerned it might move as well.  It is extremely important that you contact your State Legislators today and tell them that this bill will have a devastating impact on New York State’s housing economy.  Just in discussion with our Buffalo members, they estimate that the units affected by this legislation make up around 30% to 40% of their housing market.

Here are certain points members of the Senate and Assembly do not understand:

Most condo and co-op units do not have children.These units are built without yards and are not conducive to families.  Schools receive this additional funding without students. The municipality receives more funding per acre with condo and co-op developments.

  •  A typical single-family development will include 1-2 units per acre.
  •  Condo developments are typically 4-6 units per acre.
  •  Townhome developments are typically 6-8 units per acre.
  •  Stacked developments are typically 8-15 units per acre.

There is minimal infrastructure cost for municipalities.  The roads, sewers, water lines, sidewalks and other infrastructure are owned and maintained by the homeowners association.  Unlike other subdivision developments where such infrastructure is typically dedicated to the municipality, which then assumes ownership and maintenance responsibilities, condo and co-op owners are charged monthly fees to cover any costs connected with maintenance and replacement of such infrastructure, so the municipality does not have any responsibility for such costs.

This legislation would create unequal treatment under the law.This bill would allow municipalities and school districts to opt in and out of a statewide real property tax program without any justification.  This bill would result in a different tax structure for different projects, developers and coop/condo owners depending on whether the municipality chooses to option in or out during a particular tax year. New York State’s tax system is already screwed up enough. Don’t make it worse.

Please take a brief minute to fill out this voter voice and tell the Senate and Assembly to oppose A.3491/S.5946 today.


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