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Residential Property Taxation in New York City

Moses Gates

April 2019, English


This working paper sets forth the recent history and current structure of New York City’s residential property tax system, as well as large-scale inequities, possible points of needed reform, and an assessment of the likelihood and obstacles to these reforms. It begins with a short overview and history of the current class system and proceeds to outlining restrictions on the amount and relative burden of the property tax levy, an examination of the mechanisms by which individual property is taxed and the problems and inequities which result, and concludes with an overview of the large array of exemptions and abatements available in New York City. Throughout the paper inequities and distortions in the system are identified and examined in conjunction with the part of the system which created them. While in a broad sense there is a general consensus about common points of needed reform to the residential property tax system among most civic organizations with an interest in the system the details, implementation, and consequences of reform have yet to be fully examined.


Keywords

Assessment, Housing, Inequality, Local Government, Municipal Fiscal Health, Property Taxation, Tax Reform, Taxation