Huge Tax Disparities Along Central Park Become Visuals in Architectural Art Installation

Posted On Mon, July 18, 2016 By

Posted On Mon, July 18, 2016 By In Art, infographic, Policy, real estate trends

“Section 581” by SITU Studio, Photograph by Patrick Mandeville

Billionaires get off nearly tax-free and billions go uncollected due to flaws in the way the city assesses property value. As part of a new exhibit at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in Soho, interdisciplinary architecture firm SITU Studio created visual representations of these inequities in one of their most glaring examples: the buildings along Central Park.

New York City’s property tax structure assigns higher real property taxes to renters than it does to the infamous absentee owners of the trophy condos on Billionaires’ Row, short-changing the city of millions in annual revenue, according to CityLab. The acrylic bands in the SITU models show the disparity between the taxed value of these properties and the sky-high amounts they’d actually sell for.

SITU, Storefront for Art and Architecture, Property Taxes, Section 581, Sharing Models: Manhattanisms, Billionaire's Row, Taxes
Acrylic bands in models created by SITU Studio show the disparity between the assessed tax value and sales value of the city’s most expensive properties. Photograph by Patrick Mandeville

The state-mandated formula used by New York City to calculate property taxes for condos and co-ops is not only complicated, but it wildly underestimates the value of of some of the city’s astronomically valuable properties, which means their billionaire owners–such as a $33,000,000 co­-op sale on Central Park West where the city assessed the market value of the entire building at $60,722,00 for 2017, making the co-op’s sale price almost 60 times its assessed value for taxation purposes–end up paying a fraction of the taxes paid by other not-so-billionaire New Yorkers. And property tax is the city’s biggest source of revenue.

This worrisome wrinkle is the subject of one of the entries in “Sharing Models: Manhattanisms,” a show that opened Friday at the Storefront for Art and Architecture. The show, which runs through Friday, September 2, gives 30 international architectural firms (including big names like Archi-Techtonics and ODA) the task of analyzing a slice of Manhattan.

SITU Studio serves up a hefty portion by spotlighting the inequity baked into the city’s property-tax distribution. Highlighting sections of the Upper East Side and Upper West Side, the firm’s project is titled “Section 581,” for the state code that outlines the way property taxes are assessed. To show how big the gap between property value and taxed value is, the firm uses acrylic ribbons flying atop the city’s trophy towers.

SITU, Storefront for Art and Architecture, Property Taxes, Section 581, Sharing Models: Manhattanisms, Billionaire's Row, Taxes
Image SITU Studio

SITU, Storefront for Art and Architecture, Property Taxes, Section 581, Sharing Models: Manhattanisms, Billionaire's Row, Taxes
Image 6sqft

According to an essay that accompanies the project, “The most valuable rental buildings in Manhattan are valued by the Department of Taxation and Finance at well under $500 per square foot. The market has seen luxury condo sales typically made at a much higher expense per square foot—often in the $4,500 range.”

SITU, Storefront for Art and Architecture, Property Taxes, Section 581, Sharing Models: Manhattanisms, Billionaire's Row, Taxes
Image 6sqft

In SITU’s visualizations, the highest disparities can be seen in the narrow band along Central Park West and Park Avenue, leading to an estimation that the undervaluation of the properties in this sliver of Manhattan alone adds up to a mind-boggling $5.2 billion.

SITU, Storefront for Art and Architecture, Property Taxes, Section 581, Sharing Models: Manhattanisms, Billionaire's Row, Taxes
“Section 581” by SITU Studio, Photograph by Patrick Mandeville

The project uses research by New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate, a 2015 report by CityLab, and Max Galka’s visualizations of property-tax undervaluation shown in charts at Metrocosm. But the three-dimensional aspect gives data visualization a dramatically tactile aspect when it comes to property tax undervaluation–and how New York state law makes New York City give an unfair advantage and a huge slice of tax revenue to billionaire condo owners.

[Via Citylab]

RELATED:

Tags : , , , ,

MOST RECENT ARTICLES

  • Driving Barron Trump to school won’t leave NYC in total traffic chaos

    Driving Barron Trump to school won’t leave NYC in total traffic chaos

    It appears the Secret Service and NYPD are indeed taking measures to minimize the disruption caused by Melania and Barron staying ...
  • Map: Here’s where you can afford to live in NYC in 2018

    Map: Here’s where you can afford to live in NYC in 2018

    For New York home buyers, a lot can change in a year. A neighborhood that was considered affordable can all ...
  • A photographer’s classic Soho loft complete with furniture and art asks $10K/month

    A photographer’s classic Soho loft complete with furniture and art asks $10K/month

    The most interesting thing about Soho lofts is often the people who inhabit them; all begin as hangar-sized white spaces with ...
  • Get a free Shake Shack burger via their new app

    Get a free Shake Shack burger via their new app

    Even when all hope seems lost—there’s nothing like a free cheeseburger to raise morale. Shake Shack is celebrating the launch ...
  • Amtrak tearing down Penn Station departure board; Billy Bush lost $1.4M on his Chelsea house

    Amtrak tearing down Penn Station departure board; Billy Bush lost $1.4M on his Chelsea house

    Penn Station’s archaic-yet-iconic Amtrak departure board is officially coming down today to make way for a series of updated, smaller ...
  • De Blasio to allocate $300 million and accelerate construction of third NYC water tunnel

    De Blasio to allocate $300 million and accelerate construction of third NYC water tunnel

    City Water Tunnel No. 3, one of the largest capital projects in the city’s history; Images: NYC DEP Mayor Bill ...
  • Central Park South co-op of the late Doris Roberts lists for $3.3M

    Central Park South co-op of the late Doris Roberts lists for $3.3M

    Emmy-winning actress and animal-rights activist Doris Roberts (you probably know her best as Marie Barone from “Everybody Loves Raymond”) passed away ...
  • The Horse Plague of 1872 brought New York City to a screeching halt

    The Horse Plague of 1872 brought New York City to a screeching halt

    In the fall of 1872, an unfortunate horse plague swept across New York City after making its way through Toronto, ...
  • There are more skyscrapers in NYC than in the next 10 cities combined

    There are more skyscrapers in NYC than in the next 10 cities combined

    Given our growing obsession with skyscrapers–and our growing collection of them–we’re pleased to find that New York City has more skyscrapers than ...
  • Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh sells stylish Chelsea pad for $4.8M

    Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh sells stylish Chelsea pad for $4.8M

    All the way back in August 2014, 6sqft featured the $5 million listing for this stylish co-op at 147 West 22nd ...
  • Socialite Georgette Mosbacher lists luxurious full-floor, Fifth Avenue co-op for $29.5M

    Socialite Georgette Mosbacher lists luxurious full-floor, Fifth Avenue co-op for $29.5M

    This grand Fifth Avenue co-op belongs to the socialite and political fundraiser Georgette Mosbacher, who has hosted everyone from King ...
  • SPACE T2: A 1959 hunting shack transformed into an off-grid studio by Stephen Holl

    SPACE T2: A 1959 hunting shack transformed into an off-grid studio by Stephen Holl

    Space T2 is a minimal artist studio located in Rhinebeck, NY. Stephen Holl Architects built the off-grid cabin using what remained of ...

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful!
This email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.