Hollis, New York – Yesterday, at Haggerty Park, Assemblyman David I. Weprin called on the NYC Department of Finance to grant Queens homeowners much needed property tax relief. Together with community activists and representatives from Queens Village Civic Association, St. Albans Civic Improvement Association, SEQLegalNYC and New York Community for Change, Assemblyman Weprin stressed the hardships homeowners faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the City still in the early stages of recovering from the devastation caused by the pandemic, protecting Queens residents from possible eviction is more important than ever. At the start of the pandemic, Assemblyman Weprin played a key role in protecting homeowners by introducing and passing legislation in the NYS Assembly to postpone the tax lien sale. Now is the time to relieve the property tax burden placed on working class families and communities of color in Queens.
“For families who have lost loved ones, experienced emotional distress or financial devastation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, now is not the time to saddle them with the additional hardship of rising property taxes. The property tax burden threatens the opportunity for homeownership among hard-working middle-class families in Queens. The current property tax system is in need of reform and I call on the Department of Finance to provide relief now,” said Assemblyman David I. Weprin.
"We want what's right and we want what's fair. Our community stands together in this fight and we want the rest of New York to do the right thing when it comes to Southeast Queen because this has been a burden our community has dealt with far too long. We can't afford it any longer. We are still recovering from the effects of COVID-19. We need a fair assessment and we need relief! I would like to thank Assemblyman David Weprin for standing with us today and we thank our Borough President Donovan Richards, State Senator Leroy Comrie, Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman, City Councilman I. Daneek Miller, City Councilwoman Adrienne Adams and all our Southeast Queens electeds for fighting with us on this property tax issue, " said Preston Baker, District Leader 29(A).
“We rally to stop the increase to our property taxes and better yet, ask for relief as we recover from COVID-19. This will lead to foreclosure and loss of property, especially affecting our senior citizens living on fixed incomes. We believe there is enough money in the State and City budget and enough money to correct the tax code to make it more equitable, " said Asim Deen, the Queens Village Civic Association.
“In New York City, property taxes in majority-minority communities are over assessed by almost $1.7 billion every year. If we don’t do something to cure the disparities in our property tax system, more and more homeowners in working class communities are going to struggle to pay their mortgage, and ultimately, lose their homes. We’ve got to do something now before it’s too late,” said Jason Clark, Esq., Co-Founder, SEQLegalNYC.
“We pay more taxes even with lower home evaluations than our counterparts and somehow they can't seem to fix this problem in the tax code. It's a Failure. Now we have a chance to start new and we hope the new leadership in the City Council is able to address this issue," said Oster Bryan, St. Albans Civic Improvement Association.
"We have to fight back and make sure we have a fair and equitable system for all of us, that means making sure our assessments are valued fairly," said Harold Miller, Community Organizer.