Southern Brooklyn

Property Taxes Rise For Sandy-Hit Homes

Source: 401(K) via Flickr

With the threat of climate change and redrawn flood zone lines leading to skyrocketing insurance rates, you’d think the only thing that is certain to rise along the Southern Brooklyn waterfront would be encroaching flood waters and not property taxes. Well, property taxes have been hiked for Manhattan Beach, Sheepshead Bay and other coastal areas like Coney Island and the Rockaways, according to a report by the New York Post.

The rise in property taxes comes as a cruel blow to homeowners who have already shelled out thousands on home-repair following Sandy. According to the Post, the news of the tax hikes doesn’t sit well with local residents:

“This is totally insensitive and heartless,” said Ira Zalcman, president of the Manhattan Beach Community Group, which has received more than 30 complaints from residents about the hikes.

“We just sustained one of the worst national disasters in our nation’s history, and now the city is delusional, claiming our property values went up.”

Zalcman said that since Sandy, he has spent roughly $100,000 repairing the basement of his Dover Street oceanfront home, for which he pays more than $7,000 a year in property taxes.

According to Zalcman, the rise in assessed property values do not match market realities. While his home was assessed to be worth an additional $79,000, pushing it over the $2 million mark, he claims he’d be lucky to get $1.5 million should he decide to sell.

Council Speaker and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn was also vexed over the increase in property taxes for storm ravaged homeowners. She has vowed to hold an emergency oversight hearing on February 26 to address the issue.

“It raises real doubts about whether [the Finance Department] is doing enough to ensure fair and accurate assessments …” Quinn told the Post. “As New Yorkers work to rebuild their homes and lives, we cannot allow them to be hit twice.”

There seems to be a bit of confusion regarding why property taxes have gone up in the worst hit regions. City officials told the Post that the property assessments were made before the storm, despite the city’s website claiming they were made on January 5.

Mayor Bloomberg insisted that the rise in beach-front property value represented the overall national trend:

“Prices continue to go up in spite of these things,” he said.

But many local real estate brokers say property values in Big Apple neighborhoods affected by Sandy — such as Manhattan Beach and Coney Island in Brooklyn, the Rockaways and parts of Staten Island — have fallen due to storm damage and prospective buyers now leery of living in high-risk hurricane evacuation zones.

Have you been hit with higher property taxes? Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, who along with Councilman Michael Nelson and many other local pols has spoken out against the hikes, included in a recent e-mail blast information on how to file appeals on increased rates and how to apply for assistance through the Finance Department’s Hurricane Sandy Property Tax Relief Program. Relevant details from Cymbrowitz’s press release are listed below.

Property owners who oppose the hikes have until March 15 to appeal to the city Tax Commission before rates are finalized in May. To print a copy of the form you need, click here.

You also have until this Friday, February 15, to apply for assistance through the Finance Department’s Hurricane Sandy Property Tax Relief program. (The deadline was originally February 1st but was extended.) Download the necessary Property Damage Reporting Application form here.

My office also has hard copies of both forms that we can send you. Feel free to call us at (718) 743-4078, email me at [email protected] or stop by and visit us at my temporary district office located at 2658 Coney Island Avenue (between Avenues W and X) and we’ll be happy to help you with this or any other issue. We’re open Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., and Fridays until 5 p.m.

Comment policy


  1. This story raises more questions than it answers, mainly how these assessed values and taxes are determined in the first place. My house, just a few blocks from Zalcman, has a lower market value and a lower assessed value, yet my taxes are at least 1,000 more than what he claims he is paying even with his increase. What is going on here?

    How Bloomberg can state that houses are worth more after all the Sandy damage is just ridiculous. Remember when after the storm Bloomberg hinted that the new reassessments would lower real estate values? Looks like he has amnesia. Of course, the tax rates will rise again at the end of the year to be retroactive to July as it has done each year Bloomberg he has been in office even if your assessment has not been raised. And his last campaign literature claimed he was holding the line on taxes. How anyone can like this mayor, I don’t know.

  2. This aggravates the hell out of me. My market value went down but my assessed value went up which means my taxes go up. Lack of oversight is an understatement.

  3. How about the water and sewage taxes. I’m sure most property owners are being hit for over 1 Grand a year. It is mostly sewage water that did the damage.

  4. [email protected]

    That’s what happened to me a few years ago. Market value down, assessment up. This time my market value went up but assessed value did not. This entire procedure used to determine market and assessed values needs investigation by the City Council. There must be mistakes all over the place. And what’s preventing them from raising your assessed value even further if you protest.

  5. How dare you peasants question the Queen. He has important things to do with your money like build pedestrian plazas and bicycle lanes. The police need raised so they can frame more of your neighbors and receive promotions.

    How dare you insult his majesty, you should be grateful that he allows you to even live within his kingdom. NOW SHUT U AND PAY YOUR TAXES –

  6. Now, now that Esplanade was given away to the homeowners who paid their bribes to the local councilmen and judges – Just be quiet and enjoy your Obamaphone.

    Silly little people think that they have rights in Bloombergistan, there is no private property unless I confiscate it an award it to my friends.

    Shut up and pay your taxes or I’ll assess your home – I have a friend interested in building a sports arena and would be too happy to give your land to him.

  7. You foolish little peasants, Did you really think RAPIDREPAIRS WAS FREE?? DID you really think your FEMA Money was free?

    Now you have to pay! + Interest Forever! You have to pay those nice honest unionized companies their fair wages all of the 45 workers who came to assess your home seven or eight times and the five or six crews they sent for two weeks earned their overtime! If you don’t like it, you should have drowned.

    All of you had indoor swimming pools and you know that those are high end luxuries only Billionaires like me and my friends can have so you have to pay the taxes! Shut up and pay your taxes.

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