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NYC Finance Letter with NJ address!
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Recently received a letter from NYC Finance regarding a change in my condominium tax abatement because they have the prior owners recorded as using my address as their primary residence.

I was amazed that ownership records had not been changed despite the fact I've owned the apartment for over five years. But what really surprised me was the return address: P.O. Box 1194, Maplewood, N.J. 07040. NYC has outsourced this particular function to New Jersey!

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i quite dont understand is this a 421 tax abatement on property tax? which as i understand doesnt have to be primary address..

or like one of those STAR rebate credit annual filing thingies? which i believe does have to be primary home...

@ss400k
It's not related to a 421 tax abatement which our condo does not have.

Quoting the letter, "Dear Condo Owner: The condo property tax abatement you receive on your condominium has changed due to an amendment to New York State law. The new law states that your apartment unit must be your primary residence for you to qualify for the full abatement. Our records show that this unit is not your primary residence, so your abatement will be phased out."......

Here's the website related to the cooperative and condominium tax abatement:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/property/coop_condo_abatement.shtml

This is a perfect example of a fishing expedition. Why not phase out everyone and then see if anybody notices. NJ return address makes it for perfect icing - maybe NJ stands for NiJeria here? :)

I'm relieved to find this thread. I thought I was being "phished" for my social security number in a distinctly old school way. A PO box in Maplewood, NJ isn't quite as bad as Lagos, Nigeria, but it was enough to get my spidey sense in action.

I got one of those too. Ticks me off as they coukd easily answer their own question by crossrefrencing their internal data. There have been 2 since last owner listed...and nyc finance has no trouble finding the right person to sign the tax check.

isnt anyone else pissed that use of the apartment is being used to determine tax abatement?

I mean, at least level the tax assessments across the board first. so f'ed up.

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@flarf
Thanks for the NYT article. At least processing is being done in Staten Island.

I received a two-page notice from NYC Finance asking me to verify that I'm the owner of the apt. Separately, my building management notified me that I need to fill out the "Exemption Application for Owners" which is 7 pages long. I'm confused by why I need to fill out two forms.

Because it's the new form.
Your really only filling in 2 pages of info.
What's the big deal? It's worth 17% of the taxes your paying. I'd fill out 3 pages even.

Dont forget to include a copy of your 2011 federal returns

BTW, this is for the STAR rebate. Has nothing to do with 421A's or the like.
I believe the deadline is march 15th. Not much time to dick around.

nyc166, I heard they sent out a lot of requests to people to verify ownership and primary residence. I would fill out both.
Missing deadline would likely result in losing at least 6 months worth of abatement if not the whole year.

BTW, I did chuckle when I received and saw the Jersey address.

Thanks truthskr10. I just think it's redundant to fill out another form to verify I'm the owner if I have to fill out another form with same information.

This reeks of scam by the city. I got the form for my coop stating that their records show I do not use it as a primary residence. They are so full of sh*t. Everything I have indicates I am a full time NYC resident: car registration and insurance, tax filings, place of employment, voting records for the last 25 years, EZPass records, ... there's probably a lot more. I think the city just figured lots of people throw away forms or just never get to them; so the city will get a windfall by setting the default position as "you are not a resident" and then reaping the benefits of whatever percentage of people never file the mailed form contradicting this. And yeah, what's with NJ as the return address?!

kyle, as it's a coop, how did the city get your specific address? Or was it distributed by your managing agent?
So far, we haven't gotten such a form, and now I'm a little worried.

wavedeva: "Here's the website related to the cooperative and condominium tax abatement:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dof/html/property/coop_condo_abatement.shtml"

wave, curious is that link for the DEVELOPER to request 421 abatement.. or is that link for individual owners lookin to file?? thanks!

@ss400k
Link is mainly for owners; the "How to Apply" section deals with new developments applying for abatements for the first time.

Crain's New York article, "NYC sends wrong property-tax break info" somewhat explains the situation:
http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20130311/BLOGS04/130319987#utm_source=Daily Alert&utm_medium=alert-html&utm_campaign=Newsletters

@truthskr10
This is not related to the STAR rebate. That's worth ~$200 off your taxes. This abatement can run into ~$1000 depending on assessed property value. Look at the FAQ on the nyc.gov link above.

For the abatement, it remains very unclear how the city plans to enforce the primary resident requirement for co-ops, and even if they do, are co-ops supposed to apportion different taxes per share to different owners.

Again, unrelated to STAR.

"@ss400k
Link is mainly for owners; the "How to Apply" section deals with new developments applying for abatements for the first time."

last question wave, can an owner still apply if his new dev ALREADY has a 421 abatement? thanks

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Called 311 to ask about the social security number requirement for the primary residence verification form. Was told that "under the new law" NYC Finance will now be using social security numbers to identify property owners. So this is why I got this form. Despite being correctly listed on NYC Finance's real estate tax rolls, they never had my social security number.

"As for investors who rent their apartments out, I have little sympathy. Cost of doing business. Pay The Man. Pay The Man again, and pay The Man more."

Will just translate to higher rents over time - whateva

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Well done, wave. Thanks for the update! Now we can feel much more secure knowing that those folks ( along with people in NJ and Staten Island ) will have our social.

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"Rents are determined by money-backed demand, not cost inputs."

I didn't realize that rents were determined by offers to pay, alone. Usually, an apartment has an asking price, and over time, as costs increase, those asking prices will also increase. Over time, this will increase rents.

Did I say, that a landlord will raise a price by X as a result of a higher tax bill? no - but he/she might. My point was that ... over time ... this will result in higher rents.

> Quoting the letter, "Dear Condo Owner: The condo property tax abatement you receive on your condominium has changed due to an amendment to New York State law. The new law states that your apartment unit must be your primary residence for you to qualify for the full abatement. Our records show that this unit is not your primary residence, so your abatement will be phased out."......

this is correct, was on the news all over the place. basically NYC needs more revenues and its unfunded public pension will have to be paid by property taxes as well.

1st step towards increasing prop taxes is to limit as much as possible the credit. then it'll face out completely and later prop taxes will have to increase noticeable. this is happening all over the country thanks to boomers retiring. higher prop taxes should have been priced in imho.

> isnt anyone else pissed that use of the apartment is being used to determine tax abatement?

no, it's natural, 1st residents vote, the rest don't. 1st residents will have to pay a ton going forward on prop taxes as well, so i wouldn't envy them. the $ has to come from somewhere... and prop taxes are the least distortionary taxes to increase.

> Called 311 to ask about the social security number requirement for the primary residence verification form. Was told that "under the new law" NYC Finance will now be using social security numbers to identify property owners. So this is why I got this form. Despite being correctly listed on NYC Finance's real estate tax rolls, they never had my social security number.

sounds great. that way they will be able to cross it with tax docs. there might be some that claim to be 1st residents to get the tax abatement on a property but then claim not to be residents to avoid paying NYC taxes.

that game now it over for them. it's a great thing.

Out of nowhere, just received Abatement letter for the first time, 2 days ago, saying it is the 3rd notice, but I still have one last chance to respond by July 22, 2013.

My questions are:

i) Does it matter that I only became the owner in Jan 2013, since the form makes reference to 2011 tax returns (which I obviously filed using my previous address)? Will I still be eligible?
ii) Does it matter when the unit became my primary residence i.e. 1st quarter v. 2nd quarter of the year etc?

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@sammy300
It doesn't matter when you became the owner. The form has a section asking when you purchased your apartment. The city is establishing a database of current owners which will be used for determining real estate taxes. Call 311 to get your questions answered regarding primary residency. More importantly, I would fill the form out. The tax abatement if you are a primary resident of a condominium benefits both you and your building. See:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/realestate/tax-abatement-changes-affect-many-unit-owners.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

Thx @Wave!

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