More co-op and condo owners will be eligible for a tax break next year after a bill sponsored by State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) made it through the NYS Senate and Assembly, the elected officials announced on Monday at the Glen Oaks Oval.
The J-51 tax abatement, which provides a property tax exemption for building renovations, was expanded to include co-ops and condos with an assessed value of $32,000 or less, up from $30,000. Under the new legislation, the eligibility threshold will also rise with the cost of living.
Braunstein said that he fought hard for the $2,000 increase, taking part in intense negotiations over the course of a year. But the politicians said they still wanted to do more.
“I look forward to working with Senator Avella and our colleagues in government to further reduce the tax burden on co-op and condo owners,” Braunstein said.
Bob Friedrich, President of Glen Oaks Village, said the tax abatement program helped reduced costs 16 percent at Glen Oaks, the largest housing co-op in Queens.
“This issue is not sexy and does not garner much conversation around the dinner table, but is truly one of the most important programs that help keep our affordable co-ops affordable!,” Friedrich said.
Warren Schreiber, President of the Bay Terrace Cooperative Section I, agreed, stressing that “many properties would fall into disrepair or become unaffordable to middle class families” without the program.
Since 2013, only co-ops and condos that had an assessed value of less than $30,000 could qualify for the abatement, though between 1992 and 2013 the cut off was $40,000.