Angry New Yorker

Monday, December 06, 2004
This is considered progress in New York City

The U.S. Mail dropped off an unwelcome envelope today; namely, my quarterly NYC Real Estate tax bill, which as always is up again [indeed, since 2001 the real estate tax for my house is up nearly 40% in total.] The NYC Dept. of Finance Commissioner, Martha E. Stark, a long-time civil servant dating back to the Dinkins administration, pats herself on the back in the accompanying letter "Introducing the Dept. of Finance's New Statement of Account" saying "I am pleased to introduce . . . [a] new Statement of Account. * * * designed to give you a comprehensive simple summary of charges on your account."

Well, hi-di-ho, aren't you NYC civil servants just grand. It took until 2004 to actually put the info together so someone other than the minions at the Finance Dept. could make heads or tails of a property statement without a blue ribbon panel of tax experts. BUT, the "new" statement leaves OFF several crucial bits of info (and it remains to be seen whether a yearly statement will now provide the missing bits). First, the assessment calculations are nowhere to be found, though in its credit the DOF, for the first time, lists the Combined Tax Rate, now 15.0940% with its constitute parts. Second, the assessed amount is NOWHERE to be found, and this is the real crucial item because the period within which to challenge an assessment runs out, I believe, in four months. I'll have to log on to the DOF site at and see if any corresponding changes have occurred there, but I bet dollars to donuts there haven't been any.

UPDATE: The Dept. of Finance site actually now offers a great deal of background info, albeit, it's hardly intuitive. I can't see my mother or grandmother EVER being able to find anything there, but that doesn't change the fact that my market value assessment has popped by nearly $200k, according to the city, since 2001. It's the stealth tax increase they don't tell you about.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?