Assemblyman Goldfeder Sponsors Legislation to Protect Co-Op Housing

May 7, 2012
Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder (D-Rockaway) announced that he is sponsoring legislation to protect cooperative corporation or condominium boards from paying excessive legal fees when they successfully challenge an inaccurate city tax assessment (A.9483).

“Inaccurate assessments can cause serious headaches for co-op boards and residents,” Assemblyman Goldfeder said. “It is wrong that co-op boards have to pay legal costs to fix city errors in tax assessments. This legislation will help keep money in the pockets of co-op residents and ensure the city becomes more careful when preparing assessments.”

A tax certiorari is the legal proceeding by which a property owner can challenge a municipal tax assessment. Currently, co-op housing boards that engage in a certiorari proceeding are subject to legal fees, which may be so costly that they could prevent the board from pursuing this legal option.

Even if the board is successful in their challenge, they run the risk that the next assessment will also be subject to challenge. Under this legislation, a co-op would pay only 75 percent of their legal fees in a successful certiorari suit. Another piece of legislation Goldfeder sponsored (A.9466) would ensure co-ops have two years in which assessment increases would be capped at 3 percent after a successful certiorari proceeding, preventing the need for a proceeding the following year.

“Many co-ops pay up to 35 percent of the savings they receive from certiorari proceedings to attorneys,” Assemblyman Goldfeder said. “I am committed to working with my colleagues and the mayor’s office to make sure this does not continue and co-ops are treated fairly.”