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Dinkins rings in new year with industry-related laws.

Mayor David N. Dinkins began his new year by signing several measures that affect property owners.

One new law requires the Tax Commission to issue annual reports. Another bill extends senior citizen property tax abatements to higher-income seniors and still another extends tax abatements with regard to single occupancy rooms.

The Tax Commission annual report will bring together, in a formal way, information that was previously available internally and by request to the Tax Commission.

The first report will be issued March 1, 1993, and will cover the upcoming property tax hearings for owners protesting the 1992/93 tentative tax roll released today. Among other things, the report will include the number of applications, the number of hearings, the number of acceptances and the total actual assessed valuation of the accepted reductions, all broken down by class where applicable.

David Goldstein, president of the Tax Commission, through a spokesperson, said he appreciates the interest the mayor and the city council has for the Tax Commission and is pleased and willing to share the information. There is some concern within the Tax Commission, however, that no money has been appropriated for the report.

In his remarks upon signing the bill, Mayor David N. Dinkins noted, with concern that the Tax Commission estimated it will cost $40,000 to produce the report and hoped that the City Council "will use the information in the best interests of the city." The mayor said he hopes the council will join his office in taking a "hard look" at the reporting requirements contained in the Charter.

Joel R. Marcus, head of the New York City Tax Review Bar and a partner with Pottish & Freyberg, said the report is really needed. "Every citizen and every taxpayer has a right to know what is going on to assure that there is fairness applied on a uniform basis," he said. "There should never be any secrecy to the results of legitimate government activities."

One bill requires the addition of the rental collection agent's name to the plaque in every lobby. Representatives of owner groups consider this more needless regulation.

John J. Gilbert III, president of the Rent Stabilization Association (RSA), said while it is important to know who to pay, owners need less regulation.

"The bulletin board that owners have in their lobbies is going to be a billboard," he said. "But obviously owners are the ones most interested in tenants knowing who to pay," Gilbert said. "What we need is a new focus on what government should be requiring of this industry and not more of the same of increasing regulations."

Dan Margulies, executive director of the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP), said the requirement to post the rental collection agent's name was "pointless clutter" and was not sure why tenant advocates felt this requirement was necessary.

"Obviously most tenants know who they pay the rent to and have no trouble understanding bills they receive," Margulies said. "if it's not the managing agent (who collects the rent), then they shouldn't be calling the biller with questions they should be calling the managing agent or owner with questions. This is just a requirement to clutter the walls with more information that most people will not read. If someone is going to pay whoever knocks on the door, then posting the sign will not make a difference to the little old lady. All it means is that the thief will read the name on the wall they are supposed to use."

The SRO property tax abatement program polishes off and improves on an old form of the J-15 abatements, which now have been extended to 1995. The abatement period is also extended from 15 to 20 years and the abatement has increased from 10 percent to 12.5 percent on the costs of eligible improvements, so long as it is either less than 150 percent of the reasonable costs or the actual costs determined by HPD. The law was in litigation until recently and attorneys are still examining the current wording to see how it will affect owners.

The senior citizen tax exemptions have been extended to those with higher income but the amounts of the exemptions has been lowered at each income range.
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Title Annotation:New York City Mayor David Dinkins
Author:Weiss, Lois
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jan 15, 1992
Previous Article:Management consultants move to Carnegie Tower.
Next Article:City releases tentative tax roll.

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