Why should even renters care about protesting and fixing unfair NY property taxes?
Property taxes are normally just assumed to be a homeowner and business owner’s problem. But new information show that’s not the case. In fact City Lab says “The property-tax burden has shifted from owners to renters, and from the wealthier to the poorer.”
A recent New York State Tax Burden study shows that the lowest end income earners pay out almost twice as much of their income as the highest end earners in taxes. Quirks in the New York tax assessment system have been creating rampant disparity in which purchasers of $100 million luxury penthouses pay far less than owners of far cheaper properties.
This system ultimately makes renting more expensive in NY too. And without more government incentives and tax breaks to specifically build more affordable housing rents will just keep spiking, while homeownership grows further out of reach. Record low mortgage interest rates and the return of low down payment home loans really provide no help to those that want to graduate or return to homeownership. Not while property taxes are so high. As long as New Yorkers are trapped as renters they’ll keep getting poorer too.
This isn’t just a challenge for Generation X and Millennials themselves. Lack of affordable housing is going to mount on the financial pressure as parents age and kids grow up. It’s a triple financial whammy.
As New Yorkers continue to have their tax liens sold off and homes foreclosed on Long Island has been dubbed the “epicenter” of the zombie house epidemic. Meanwhile banks keep shirking their responsibilities with abandoned homes that can sit in limbo for over 900 days. In just 2 months of 2015 property preservation specialists said they inspected around 3,300 abandoned homes in Nassau and Suffolk County alone.
Even if it isn’t as fashionable as protesting other types of issues, or taking a radical end of the argument; all New Yorkers, including renters need to keep the pressure on politicians to fix the property tax system. This just means accurate and fair bills for everyone. It doesn’t have to mean the rich pay more just because they have been financially successful. Or that those that earn less just get a free ride on the rich’s coattails. But fair would be nice.
For renters this can help deliver more affordable housing and the opportunity to become a homeowner. Homeownership helps improve education and school performance, reduces the need for policing, and increases health. Ultimately this cycle reduces the need for public services and taxation, while making it a better place to live.
If you already own a home in NY find out how to get help grieving your property taxes here…