Municipal government / Real estate / Technology

Look up property taxes for any building in the city with this great new map

From the big-timers to your landlord, a new map from Chris Whong answers a lot of questions about who is (and who isn't) paying taxes.

The city takes in $22.5 billion a year in property taxes. (Courtesy image)
A new map out shows the amount paid in property tax for every address in New York. It’s an open data boon for nerds and city planners everywhere.

If there is a map king of Brooklyn it’s Chris Whong. You may know him from past maps, including NYC Taxis: A Day in the Life and Urban Scratchoff. He created this property tax map, with help from fellow open data nerds John Krauss and Bill Wellington, as a kind of first attempt at parsing the glut of information.

“Really it was just getting those high-level summaries of the exemptions,” he said by phone Tuesday morning. “Basically you’re not able to see them in one place. So I think the next step would be to see about categorizing them more. See what’s city owned and what the city exempts on our behalf to incentivize.”

The highest taxes are by and large where you would expect them to be, which is in the wealthiest and most expensive neighborhoods. One thing that stands out is the amount of untaxed land, which would be city-owned buildings, nonprofits, houses of worship or any other property to which the city has given an exemption.

“What we’re looking at with the tax bills is one of those things that’s an important structure but it underlies what you’re seeing when you walk down the street,” Whong said. “If you can take these sorts of things that aren’t necessarily visible and relate them to the physical space … that is a way of essentially giving people another way of looking at the physical environment.”

Before abatements and exemptions, the city estimates it would collect $34.5 billion in tax revenue. After those exemptions and abatements the bill is $21.6 billion, meaning that nearly a third of all property in New York is untaxed or discounted.

In Brooklyn, one of the highest individual taxpayers is the Domino Sugar factory down on the water in Williamsburg, which pays just north of $1 million a year. Another big taxpayer is the 33-floor apartment building in Brooklyn Heights, on 75 Henry St., which pays more than $1.6 million. The new hyper-luxury apartment tower on the water, 1 North 4th, where rents for a one-bedroom hover around $4,000 a month, somehow only pays about $34,000 yearly in taxes. Then there’s the Barclays Center, which pays nothing in taxes, thanks to a deal with the city.
Closer to home, my landlord in Greenpoint pays $4,847 for her property taxes, or approximately two weeks of rent for the entire building. Not bad, Dorothea, you cutthroat real estate maven you. Now I really don’t understand why you had a hard time paying me back for the hallway lightbulb.

Companies: Carto
Series: Brooklyn

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