Why do working class neighborhoods face relentless increases in property taxes, while landlords in upscale, politically connected neighborhoods pay far less?

A reader wonders why the property taxes on their Bensonhurst three family are more than Mayor de Blasio pays on his two Park Slope properties combined.

Why do working class neighborhoods face relentless increases in property taxes, while landlords in upscale, politically connected neighborhoods pay far less?

Dear Editor,

I just received my latest quarterly property tax bill from the NYC Department of Finance. The quarterly tax on my three-family home in Bensonhurst has risen by 6.9% vs. the prior quarter.

My annual property tax has shot up by $561 and now approaches $11,600, thousands more than the owners of multi-million dollar brownstones in Gentrified Brooklyn and Manhattan are paying, and thousands more than Mayor de Blasio pays on his two Park Slope properties combined! This increase comes at the end stages of the pandemic, and a year after Mayor de Blasio's insane "no eviction" policy has given thousands of tenants the green light not to pay rent, even if they are working.

However, landlords still have to pay property taxes and the water bills for the entire house. Luckily, my tenants pay their rent, but all too many tenants are not. When the cumulative rent payments come due, the tenants will simply move out and leave the landlords saddled with unpaid rent bills in the tens of thousands.

In addition to delinquent tenants, many of the property owners lost jobs during the pandemic and lost income.

Many homeowners in my section of Brooklyn are Asians who owned or operated restaurants that were closed for months during the lockdowns, many of which are no longer in business. Now they and others are being hit with a sharp rise in property taxes, and the city will find that there will be a huge increase in property tax delinquencies as a result.

It is outrageous that the city continues to target white, Black, Asian, and Hispanic working-class neighborhoods for relentless increases in property taxes, while landlords in upscale, politically connected neighborhoods pay far less. None of the mayoral candidates to date have addressed this class warfare.

Dennis Middlebrooks
Bensonhurst

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