According to New York State Law, property owners are required to pay property taxes whether or not they receive a bill. While I agree that it is a homeowner’s responsibility to ensure that property taxes are paid, there is something inherently unfair about the situation that I am about to explain.
There are homeowners whose property sits on two tax lots, however, they are not aware of this. As long as there is a mortgage on the property the bank pays taxes for both lots: 1) the lot, with an actual address, where the house is located 2) the empty lot, where the driveway or the back yard is located.
It is not a problem until you have satisfied your mortgage. At that point, the Department of Finance sends a bill for the lot with the actual physical address. The other lot without a house/building has no physical address and the homeowner does not receive a bill. This can go on for years until the property goes onto the lien sale list.
On the 30 day lien list for the County of Queens there are 231 properties without a physical address. Of these properties, three are located in Community Board 8. Our office was able to research and find the property owner’s address and sent notices. What about the others?
Many of these property owners may not know that they stand to lose their investment. This problem could be alleviated if the homeowner’s mailing address was included in addition to the real estate billing address for the empty lot. The Department of Finance could require that the property owners fill out a form acknowledging the purchase of a property on two tax lots and that separate taxes will be billed.
It would be beneficial to both the city, which will collect the taxes in a timely fashion, and to the property owners, who would not have to face a huge bill for years of unpaid taxes.
Community Board 8