Lawsuit challenging NYC property tax system cleared to move forward – opening door for possible, massive changes

A lawsuit challenging the legality of the city’s labyrinthine property tax system can proceed, the state’s top court ruled on Tuesday, bringing with it the potential to upend how the city collects billions of dollars in revenue annually to finance municipal functions such as policing, garbage collection, and education.

In a 4-to-3 decision, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that a lawsuit brought by Tax Equity Now New York (TENNY) can proceed forward through lower courts. Since 2017, the group — comprised of a mix of small homeowners and real estate groups — has been suing the city, claiming that its complex property tax system discriminates against low-income homeowners of color and relieves wealthy property owners of their fare share of the burden for financing city operations. Property taxes made up 43% of the city’s tax dollars last year.