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Finance Div. moves to abandon SBEA data.

The City Council Finance Division proposed at a public hearing last week that the State Board of Equalization and Assessment calculations be abandoned. The officials suggested that legislation be jdrafted to permit abandonment of the SBEA calculations and to adjust the city's tax rates based on the city's most current class share percentages. This would overcome the problem of having a two year gap between the SBEA data and actual city data and would effectively stabilize increases and decreases across the class shares.

The SBEA related tentative equalization figures for New York City that show a drop in value for city properties. While the figures from 1993 are obviously lagging behind the market, the issue is problematic for city officials, who are finally observing an uptick in values.

City policy calls for maintaining assessments at 45 percent of the market for tax Classes Two, Three and Four - basically all but the one to three-family homeowners and small condominiums.

But the equalization figures show an entirely different story: According to the SBEA, the final citywide equalization rate for last year was 22.48 percent, while the Class I rate was 5.96: Class II 32.50 percent; Class III 33.87 percent and Class IV 30.99 percent.

For this year's final assessment roll that is expected to be issued May 25th, the tentative citywide rate is 24.65 percent. Class I is 6.48 percent, Class II 34.23 percent, Class II (due to an entire assessment calculation change) 48.26 percent and Class IV 36.59 percent.

At 45 percent of value, a building's assessment can evil seem underassessed, but at 34 to 37 percent, many owners will be able to effectively challenge the assessment in court.

The city, concerned about theconsequences of court challenges, has a law-suit pending against the SBEA for the last two years of equalization rates and it is likely they will add this year to the action. It unclear if the city will ask the legislature to retroactively abandon the SBEA rates.

So far, the city has merely challenged this year's tentative rates and has not yet added them to the court proceedings. While the SBEA was to vote on the final city rates on May 24th, that meeting has been rescheduled to June 1.

According to SBA officials, a letter was to go out to city agencies this past Monday advising them of the fial equalization rates for this year's roll.

Those equalization rates will translate into class shares as well and help determine final tax rates. The following rates are merely projections by the City Council and will change as the final equalization rates are determined and the politicians finish playing with the figures, but should give real estate ownBrs a preliminary means of projecting their property taxes.

Class shares cannot legally go up more than five percent a year. Based on the tentative equalization rates, the City Council Finance Divisions has calculated class shares would go up the following percentages: Class I from 11.56 to 12.14 percent; Class II from 30.78 to 32.30 percent; Class III 5.76 to 6.05 percent and Class IV down from 51.90 to 49.50 percent.

The total levy will be $7.899 billion, with Class I contributing $959 million; Class II, $2.553 billion; Class III, $478 million; and Class IV $3.910 billion.

Under this scenario, the tax rates per hundred dollars of assessment would be: Class I, $10.939 up from $10.369; Class III $7.4842 up from $7.404; and Class IV down to $10.352 from $10.724.

Final tax rates are expected to be set by the Cityh Council within the next few weeks for tax bills payable July 1st.

Under last year's budget, property owners contributed $8.113 billion to the city's coffers, with only $7.67 billion of that actually collectible, amounting to some $440 million in various credits and deliquent owners.
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Title Annotation:City Council Finance Division, State Board of Equalization and Assessment
Author:Weiss, Lois
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:May 25, 1994
Previous Article:Determining the financial help of a co-op.
Next Article:City proposes tax relief for co-op, condo owners.

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