43rd District City Council Race: Chirico Rolls Out Property Tax Reduction Plan

Vincent Chirico, Democratic candidate for the New York City Council’s 43rd District today announced his plan to reduce property taxes for South Brooklyn homeowners.

With the biggest burden on properties in working and middle class New York City neighborhoods, Chirico will make property tax reform a top priority to help the residents of Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst and Bay Ridge.

Among Chirico’s policy proposals is a move to reform how the “mansion tax” applies to sales of New York City homes.  Currently, the mansion tax applies to sales of homes valued at $1 million or more.  Chirico proposes to double the current value threshold so that the mansion tax does not apply for sales of homes valued at up to $2 million.

Vincent Chirico

“The mansion tax was introduced 18 years ago, when property values in New York City were considerably lower than they are now. Currently, this tax affects families in working and middle class neighborhoods whose homes are far from “mansions,” and forces these families to leave New York. Doubling the threshold to $2 million now will help New Yorkers stay in our neighborhoods,” said Chico.

Chirico also notes that the mansion tax has not kept up with the rate of inflation. “The present equivalent of $1 million in 1989 is $1,914 million. We should tie the mansion tax to the rate of inflation, which would then also increase the applicability of the tax only to home sales valued at $2 million or more.”

Aside from the mansion tax, Chirico notes that the Department of Finance subjects homeowners to unequal billing with the brunt of the tax burden on the working- and middle-class neighborhoods. Chirico’s plan addresses the disparities between property types and neighborhoods that make the system fundamentally unfair for seniors, renters, and middle-income homeowners.

“We are overdue for real property tax reform in New York City that will alleviate the double-burden of high taxes and high cost of living that homeowners face. The New York City budget should not be balanced on the backs of hardworking Brooklyn families. Residents of the 43rd Council District can be assured that if elected to the City Council, I will adamantly oppose any proposal to raise property taxes in the district, and I will work diligently to reform the system to benefit South Brooklyn families,” said Chirico.

Chirico also supports legislation to expand property tax relief for senior citizens, increase the senior citizen rent increase exemption, and tax rebates for renters who surpass a certain threshold percentage of their income on rent. Senior citizens are struggling to manage high health care costs, the cost of living and pay their property taxes. Relieving the high tax burden facing senior citizens will allow them the means to focus on their health and health care costs, he said.

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