Friday, May 1, 2009

Condo Tax Rebates — Divvying Up Money, Stepping into a Minefield

Habitat Magazine
By Frank Lovece

Good news! Your condo association is getting a real estate tax rebate following a successful "tax certiorari" appeal, which many condo boards routinely file on behalf of unit-owners. It's a rite of spring, when co-ops and condos alike challenge the often too-high assessments that the New York City Department of Finance (DOF) places on buildings in order to calculate how much real estate tax each building or condominium unit must pay.

Now what? With co-ops, each shareholder pays his or her share of the tax as part of the monthly maintenance charge. Rebates go to the corporation, benefiting each shareholder proportionally. But condo associations are different and more difficult — hitting legal and ethical issues of which even many professionals have been unaware.

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