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PR- 083-04
April 15, 2004


Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Law

"The first bill before me today is Introductory No. 303, sponsored by the Chair of the Finance Committee, Council Member David Weprin.  This bill will delay the imposition of the real property tax surcharge on certain Class One properties until July 1, 2006.  

"Introductory No. 303, will delay the implementation of Local Law 47 of 2003, commonly referred to as the absentee landlord surcharge.  The absentee landlord surcharge authorizes a surcharge at up to 25% of the real property tax in its first year of implementation with increases up to 50% in the following year.  The surcharge will apply to Class One properties (one-, two-, and three-family homes) that generate rental income and are not the owner's, their parents or children's primary residence.

"The Department of Finance and other City agencies have carefully scrutinized the absentee landlord surcharge and have found that the surcharge will have a disproportionate impact on middle- and low- income New Yorkers. Furthermore, after an extensive campaign to identify and educate property owners about the surcharge, the Finance Department found that many homeowners would be liable to pay the surcharge even though they live in their homes, simply because they had not certified that status with the Finance Department.  In addition to the challenge of encouraging homeowners to certify that they live in their own homes, the Finance Department also found that allowing people to self-certify that a parent or child resides in the home is problematic, since there is virtually no way to verify that information.   Finally, after studying the effects of the absentee landlord tax surcharge, the evidence clearly bore out that the surcharge would be difficult for the City to administer in a fair and equitable manner.

"For these reasons, I strongly support this legislation.  I am pleased that under Introductory No. 303, the imposition of the absentee landlord surcharge will be delayed until July 2006.  In the interim, the Department of Finance will continue to identify and educate property owners about the STAR property tax exemption, which, by certifying primary residency, will assist in implementing Local Law 47 in the future, and has the added benefit of saving qualifying taxpayers approximately $220.00 a year in property taxes.

"I thank Council Member Weprin for his assistance on Introductory No. 303.  I would also like to thank Department of Finance Commissioner Martha Stark and her staff for their efforts to educate the public about the absentee landlord surcharge."


Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz   (212) 788-2958

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