Council Passes Bill to Amend Property Tax Interest Rates to Help Eligible Homeowners

Mayor Adams signs Local Law 36 into law, with Sponsor Council Member David Carr. Image Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

On March 14, 2023, Mayor Eric Adams signed Local Law 36 of 2023. The new law was originally introduced as Int. No. 524 on June 6, 2022, by Council Member David M. Carr. Local Law 36 aims to ensure that eligible homeowners with a total income of $250,000 or less receive relief on property tax debts by authorizing the New York City Banking Commission to recommend an interest rate applicable to such debts.

To enforce this change, Local Law 36 would call on the Department of Finance to conduct outreach for the new rate and report back to the Mayor and the Speaker. Local Law 36 aims to repeal provisions requiring the Banking Commission to make certain recommendations for interest rates for nonpayment of water and sewer rents as such provisions are preempted by State Law.

Council Member David M. Carr explained the purpose of Local Law 36 is to address the struggles of low- and moderate-income families keeping up with property tax payments due to financial hardship. He stated, “For far too long, this city has imposed the same high interest rates intended to punish tax scofflaws on struggling middle- and working-class families who have fallen behind on their bills.” He added, “This legislation will put that to an end by allowing us to set a separate interest rate that will help those homeowners who are making good faith efforts to pay their tax debt, rather than burying them in it.”

On August 2022, the Committee on Finance held a joint hearing with the Deputy Commissioner of Treasury and Payment Services at the New York City Department of Finance to discuss the legislation. The Deputy offered testimony in support of the bill but proposed that the bill should include an income ceiling so that only property owners with incomes below a certain amount can get the lower interest rate. The Deputy also emphasized that only resident owners should benefit from this proposed legislation.

Local law 36 will come into effect immediately, but the new interest rates is scheduled for July 1, 2023, which is the start of Fiscal Year 2024. According to the fiscal impact statement, the Department of Finance is required to provide the Mayor and City Council Speaker with an annual report within Fiscal Year 2024 that summarizes the new interest rate, breakdowns of approvals and denials, along with other performance metrics evaluating the effectiveness of the reduced rate program.

By: Christopher Green (Christopher is a New York Law School student, Class of 2023).



One thought on “Council Passes Bill to Amend Property Tax Interest Rates to Help Eligible Homeowners

  1. This is RIDICULOUS. If you make $250,000 per year you can pay your property taxes. The Council should be ashamed of themselves. A giveaway for no reason while the City is facing HUGE budget deficits in coming years. When those budget deficits kick in starting in fiscal years 2025, worthy City programs will face drastic cuts while people who can pay their property get a brake they don’t need.

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