State To Pass Means-Testing: What It Means For You
A major part of the City’s new property tax system, especially for residents of communities like ours, is “Gentrification Protection” (GP).
GP shields long-term residents from overly large property tax increases. If you’ve owned and lived in your home for 10 years or more, and your new AVI property assessment is more than 3 times your old assessment, then you qualify.
Example: You’ve owned and lived in your house or 10 or more years. Your old assessment was $50,000 and your new AVI assessment is $400,000. GP says you can be taxed only on an assessment 3 times your old assessment. So instead of being taxed on $400,000, you are taxed only on $50,000 x 3, which in this example would be $150,000. This protection will last for the next 10 years.
Bottom line: Anyone qualifying for GP will see their tax bill increase about 28% from last year. Not ideal, but much better than the 50, 100, or 200% increases these residents would otherwise see.
There is one catch, though: because of a state law advocated by the City and about to be signed by the Governor, GP will be means-tested: you will qualify only if your annual income is below a certain level. For a household of one, the limit is about $84k (about $92k for a household of two; and about $111k for a household of four).
The City says it has identified property owners potentially eligible for GP. And application forms should be coming out sometime early next month. We will keep everyone updated.