The Real.Est List
The real (scary) numbers behind those tax abatements
If you're thinking of buying an apartment that has a tax abatement in place, you probably want to know what your taxes will be when the abatement wears off. But how? Start by figuring out what the unabated tax amount is today. Many thanks to the hive mind at StreetEasy.com for showing us this excellent trick:
- Go to NYC's property information system, click on the "search by address" link and enter the apartment's address and unit number.
- On the list of links that appears, open the most recent "Quarterly Statement of Accounts."
- Scroll to the bottom to see both the current tax amount and the amount due if no abatement were in place.
What you learn may shock you.
Consider the apartment we selected randomly from StreetEasy's listings: According to the tax statement we pulled for a junior-4 condo for sale at The Brompton at 205 East 85th Street, annual abated taxes are currently $3,234. Without the abatement, taxes on the $1.75 million condo would be $24,221. [Correction/update: Thanks to real estate attorney Dean Roberts for explaining to us that the unabated taxes actually appear on the line "Tax Before Exemptions and Abatements," rather than the one entitled "Tax Before Abatements." That means the current unabated taxes on this condo are $12,838, not $24,221. "The layout is very confusing," allows Roberts, "which is not a surprise."]
That's today's number. After a few intervening years of tax rate hikes and assessed value increases, what will the taxes be when the abatement disappears?
Barring some new legislation or an excessive show of fiscal restraint by the city, your guess is as good as ours: "Since the city is currently going crazy in increasing all the values," notes one commenter, "you never know how high it may go in six years."