NYS Seal




Blue Ribbon Commission, Condominium Assessments and Real Property Tax Circuit Breaker.


To examine the need for a Blue Ribbon Commission to study the current real property tax system as well as a venue to discuss legislative proposals relating to (1) enhancing the real property tax circuit breaker and (2) the assessment of condominiums.

October 17, 2007
11:00 am
VFW Post # 433
400 Lakeland Avenue

In March of 2006, the Suffolk County Legislature created a commission to study the real property taxation system in Suffolk County. The Suffolk County Legislature Homeowner's Tax Reform Commission completed their research earlier this year. The Commission's mission was to study alternatives to replace the current real property taxation system for supporting schools and local governmental entities and report their findings/recommendations to the County Legislature. Among their findings, the Commission recognized that the complexity of the real property tax was so vast that they would need the assistance of the State Legislature to enact meaningful real property tax reform.

This hearing will provide an opportunity for scholars, local officials and property owners to comment on the recommendations of the Suffolk County Legislature Homeowner's Tax Reform Commission as well as compare and/or provide input on how to improve a statewide proposal to create a Blue Ribbon Commission (see A. 9239) which would be required to study current real property tax policy and procedures on a statewide basis and recommend alternatives and/or other viable solutions to reduce the real property tax burden for all New Yorkers.

The hearing will also provide a forum by which to continue the discussion on enhancing the real property tax circuit breaker (Note: The Suffolk County Homeowner's Tax Reform Commission recommended enhancing this program - especially in regards to seniors) as well as open up dialogue on a discordant assessment issue - the assessment of condominiums. The assessment of condominiums is divisive as many in the assessment community believe there is an inherent "loop-hole" in the assessment of condominiums created by RPTL 581 and RPL 339-y. Specifically, these statutes limit an assessor's ability to assess condominiums at market value which can and most often does result in owners of these dwellings paying far less in real property taxes for the same services including public schools as similarly priced stand alone dwellings; while others - such as those representing the builders and realtors - believe removing the assessment limitation would be detrimental to the housing market especially in relation to affordable housing.

Persons wishing to present pertinent testimony to the Committee at the above hearing should complete and return the enclosed reply form as soon as possible.

It is important that the reply form be fully completed and returned so that persons may be notified in the event of emergency postponement or cancellation.

Oral testimony will be limited to ten minutes duration. In preparing the order of witnesses, the Committee will attempt to accommodate individual requests to speak at particular times in view of special circumstances. These requests should be made on the attached reply form or communicated to Committee staff as early as possible. In the absence of a request, witnesses will be scheduled in the order in which reply forms are postmarked.

Ten copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committee would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.

In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committee's interest in hearing testimony from all sources.

In order to meet the needs of those who may have a disability, the Assembly, in accordance with its policy of non-discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has made its facilities and services available to all individuals with disabilities. For individuals with disabilities, accommodations will be provided, upon reasonable request, to afford such individuals access and admission to Assembly facilities and activities.

Sandy Galef
Member of Assembly
Committee on Real Property Taxation


  1. A. 9239 - Creates a "Blue Ribbon Commission" which includes provisions to review assessment practices as well as real property taxation in general

  2. A. 522 - Raises the gross income eligibility and rent allowable to qualify for the circuit breaker tax credit

  3. A. 1575 - Establishes a personal income tax credit for a portion of a taxpayer's residential real property taxes which exceeds a certain percentage of the taxpayer's household gross income; provides that the taxpayer shall have resided in such residential real property for not less than 10 years; provides that such credit shall not apply to taxpayers whose household gross income exceeds $200,000 or who have received the school tax relief exemption on such real property

  4. A. 1574 - Assessments of condominiums and cooperatives


Persons wishing to present testimony at the public hearing on the Real Property Taxation are requested to complete this reply form by October 12, 2007 and mail it to:

Karen Smeaton
Real Property Taxation Committee
Floor 23 - Alfred E. Smith Office Building
80 South Swan Street
Albany, New York 12248
Phone: (518) 455-4311
Fax: (518) 455-7095

box I plan to attend the Real Property Taxation public hearing on October 17, 2007.

box I plan to make a public statement at the hearing. My statement will be limited to ten minutes, and I will answer any questions which may arise. I will provide 10 copies of my prepared statement.


I will address my remarks to the following subjects:

box I do not plan to attend the above hearing.

box I would like to be added to the Committee mailing list for notices and reports.

box I would like to be removed from the Committee mailing list.


I will require assistance and/or handicapped accessibility information. Please specify the type of assistance required:








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