Friday, August 21, 2009

New state law freezes real estate taxes for Staten Islanders

From the Staten Island Advance:

A bill that freezes real estate taxes for a year, authored by Staten Island Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer, has been signed into law by Gov. David Paterson

The measure passed the state Assembly this spring but awaited the end of the state Senate stalemate before reaching the governor's desk.

"We must ensure that local residents are able to weather the fiscal storm," Ms. Hyer-Spencer (D-East Shore/Brooklyn) said. "Helping [homeowners] keep more of their hard-earned money is vitally important, more so today than ever."

The new law, which immediately takes effect, limits increases in property taxes for owners of one to three-family houses, condominiums, co-ops and rental apartment buildings in New York City, by freezing a key ratio that is used by the state Board of Real Property Services (SBRPS) to calculate tax rates for residential property within the state.

"[It] means an average savings of $177 for single-family homeowners and $167 for a typical co-op apartment," she said last month. "Owners of smaller rental buildings will also see an average savings of about $91 per unit.

If the state had not passed the legislation, the city would have been required to adopt increases set by SBRPS, which would have resulted in a 6.9 percent increase in real estate taxes for one through three-family homes, and a 4.8 percent increase in real estate taxes for co-ops, condos and rental apartment buildings, she said.

"Local residents are suffering enough economic pain," Ms. Hyer-Spencer noted.

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