Presidents Coop Council – Press Release September 20, 2011

On September 14, 2011, the Presidents’ Co-op / Condo Council (PCC) hosted an informal breakfast in the Boardroom of Clearview Gardens Co-op with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, at her request. Other elected officials in attendance were New York State Senator Toby Stavisky, NYS Assemblyman Ed Braunstein, City Council Members Mark Weprin, Daniel Halloran, Peter Woo and NYC Council Finance Chairman Domenic Recchia. Much of the discussion centered around the tax assessment issue and the steps that must be taken in the future to achieve a fair and equitable solution to this problem so that Queens co-ops are not hit again with double and triple-digit Property Valuation increases.

Speaker Quinn acknowledged that the system currently in place is“broken” and that many co-ops are shouldering the burden of extraordinarily high property tax rates. A system that is fair and equitable for co-ops must be implemented in place of the current flawed methodology that created the property valuation mess this year. The State legislators that were present insisted that this issue is on the front burner but will need the support of the Mayor if it is to succeed at the state level. The Mayor has been non-committal on this issue and Speaker Quinn is continuing to have conversations with representatives of the Mayor’s office to arrive at a solution. While formal negotiations have not yet begun, the PCC will be working closely with officials to craft an acceptable solution to this problem.

Speaker Quinn reaffirmed her commitment for co-op tax relief both in her current position as City Council Speaker and as a potential mayoral candidate. She was hopeful that during this fiscal year a resolution will be formulated. However, she emphatically reiterated that the 50% cap imposed by Commissioner Frankel that is being phased in over 5 years, must be resolved this year or capped so that the second year of the phase in which would result in another 10% increase in property valuations not occur. Her commitment to a short term fix until a final resolution is achieved was warmly welcomed by the PCC.

Bob Friedrich, President of Glen Oaks Village, New York’s largest garden apartment co-op along with Warren Schreiber, President of Bay Terrace I, urged Speaker Quinn and the other elected officials to be cognizant of unfunded mandates that are being proposed and in some cases imposed on co-ops which are leading to unaffordable increases in co-op housing costs.

Both the Speaker and the other elected officials present lauded the PCC for spearheading an effective grass roots movement and look forward to continuing dialogue regarding issues facing co-op and condo communities.