New York State’s High Property Taxes Are Devastating To Home Sales

Posted by Dylan Taft on Friday, December 3rd, 2010 at 9:19am.

New York State has the dubious distinction of having the highest property taxes in the nation. Not just by a little either, according to a recent New York State study, our property taxes were a whopping 79% higher than the national average. Not surprisingly, this reputation as the most-taxed state of the union has had devastating effects on an already struggling New York housing market. It is a triple threat, hurting prospective buyers who may want to move to New York, lifelong residents who simply can’t afford to live here anymore, and businesses that also bear the burden of astronomical property taxes and receive few if any of the meager tax benefits being offered.

New York No Longer a Blue Collar State

People from all over the world are drawn to New York, the state where if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. The trouble is the image of New York as a haven for hard-working, scrappy individuals is just that, an image. Now, wealth is the single, and only, determining factor in whether or not a person can live in New York. If you were thinking of relocating to a new state, how appealing does New York look knowing right off the bat that it has the highest taxes in the nation? As realtors, we’ve encountered countless buyers who want to live in New York, but ultimately decide against it simply because the taxes are so high. It is a sad fact.

New York Tax Bills are Sometimes Higher than the Mortgage

Now consider the lifelong New Yorkers, those who have seen their taxes rise and rise with no end in sight. There are New Yorkers whose monthly tax bill is actually higher than their mortgages, which sounds absolutely absurd to anyone other than a New Yorker. Taxes are also woefully disproportionate in New York State, with upstate New York residents footing the bill for municipal programs hundreds of miles south in New York City. Combine this with a rancorous, borderline corrupt state legislature that accomplishes nothing, and you’ve got weary New York residents who are fed up. Sadly to say, New Yorkers are leaving the state in record numbers, favoring states like Florida whose cost of living is significantly lower.

New York Business Climate not Suitable for Employment

No one will want to live in New York if there are no jobs. Unfortunately New York has arguably the most dismal business climate in the country. Any business that owns a brick & mortar building is subject to the same astronomical property taxes as homeowners. To make matters worse, tax exemptions (such as the STAR program) that provide some relief to taxpayers, do not apply to businesses. The sole purpose of a business is to make money, so what business owner in their right mind would set up shop in a state that already puts them at such an economic disadvantage? The high property taxes create a vicious cycle, where businesses can’t thrive and residents are fleeing. Unless something is done to address the soaring property taxes in New York, the housing market will continue to suffer.

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