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NYC tax assessments up 0.9%.

New York City Mayor David N. Dinkins is going to need some fancy number work to keep his promise of a freeze on the average tax rate for the next four years.

Total billable taxable assessments for the fiscal year 1993 are $79.179 billion, up from last year's $78.47 billion billable by $700 million dollars or .9 percent. The billables are down from $80.58 billion on the tentative roll.

The actual assessments total $81.7145 billion, down from the tentative total of $83.22 billion and last year's $83.61 billion. The actual assessments show a trend of where values are going, but owners pay on the lessor of their transitional or actual assessment which becomes the "billable."

Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, said the rise is a reflection of they city's not recognizing the true market conditions. "They will probably say it's the result of the phasing in," he said. "I've heard the Commissioner of Finance say this will be the last year that this will force up the billable assessments. But the market conditions have changed more than the billable assessments show. Those increases are going to be placed upon buildings of every purpose which will have difficult ties."

John J. Gilbert III, president of the Rent Stabilization Association, said: "Anybody who thinks assessed values have increased $700 million from last year to this year needs their head examined."

Assessment Reductions May Be Down

Hubert J. Brandt, of Peter H. & Hubert J. Brandt, said he thinks there is a minimizing of assessment reductions because of the Mayor's promise to freeze the tax rates. "It probably ought to be more of a drop than that," he said. "Maybe the city is being more cautious about making the drop in actuals, because they are hard dollars."

"Are they going to raise the rate after the Mayor said it was going to be frozen?," asked certiorari attorney.

"It's going to drop even further," agreed Arnold Maisel, a partner with Goldberg Weprin & Ustin. "Others will be giving up in foreclosure before the hearings."

Jack Weprin of the same firm said he has buildings that are in such bad shape, "if we knew we were going to get a major reduction, we would have been able to show something to the lender and save the building."

Ownership in general is being asked to carry too much, Brandt said. "The real estate tax burden is a tenuous teeter-totter and the city needs to live and provide services at a time when people are complaining about the quality of life. But how deeply can you cut an industry which is going into bankruptcy?," Brandt wondered.

Where a building was distressed, particularly in Downtown, attorneys said the Tax Commission was responsive. For the most part, they said, the offers for reduction on large properties did not go reflect the actual market conditions. These buildings will be discussed with the corporation counsel, and perhaps later taken to court. Some, which have been refusing tax commission offers for several years, present an ongoing liability to the city for refunds on overpayments from past years that could amount to many millions of dollars.
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Title Annotation:New York City, New York, New York
Author:Weiss, Lois
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Jun 3, 1992
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