Brannan Demands Property Tax Reform Commission to Release Update

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Councilman Justin Brannan (D-Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bath Beach, Bensonhurst) joined fellow city council colleagues today on the steps of city hall to demand the Mayor’s Property Tax Reform Commission finally release recommendations for a more equitable property tax system.

But Property Tax Commission Spokesperson Marcy Miranda said the commission hasn’t yet finished their findings.

“The City’s property tax system is complex, and any recommendations to change the system will be made after thoughtful consideration and careful deliberation. The Commission continues to forge ahead with its work and is planning on conducting more outreach across the city,” said Miranda.

Property tax inequity has been an ongoing issue for years. Property owners in working-class neighborhoods like Canarsie are paying more for similarly sized properties with much less market value than in neighborhoods like Park Slope.

This led to Mayor Bill de Blasio creating the Property Tax Reform Commission last year, and tasked them to come up with recommendations to make property taxes more equitable.

Certain reforms to the current property tax system will require state legislation. With the state legislative session ending next week, the council members urged the commission to get a move on.

Justin Brannan
City Council Member Justin Brannan

“The Property Tax Commission really does owe us an update, because Class 1 property owners in our districts need relief,” said Brannan. “Right now, the system is pitting neighborhoods against neighborhoods. The fact that people in my district are paying way more than people in places like Park Slope where there are million dollar brownstones is outrageous.”

Brannan, who had been instrumental in the formation of the commission, said “In this case, no news is not good news. No news is bad news.”

The council members prioritized protecting class 1 and 2 property owners. A class 1 is a residential property that includes one to three units; Class 2 is residential property with more than 3 units including cooperatives and condominiums.

But Miranda noted that while the commission has held five public input sessions (one in each borough) to solicit feedback from the public, it still plans to hold additional public hearings in the near future, and will release its recommendations this calendar year.

After the Commission shares its report with the mayor and Speaker Corey Johnson, they will both review the report and its findings, and will decide how to best advance reforms, she said.