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News from the Far-Flung Department

Shocking: The New York Times talks about older, expensive co-ops paying bargain-rate taxes. It seems that New York's arcane methods of computing property tax values co-ops as rental buildings, the rationale being that they are stock corporations granting proprietary leases (shareholders are referred to as tenants rather than owners.) It appears the buildings may be chronically under-assessed! No such luck here in San Francisco, where co-op units are assessed as individual properties, based on the sale price.

From The Times: Last December, Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of the News Corporation, agreed to pay the highest price ever for a Manhattan residence, $44 million for a triplex at 834 Fifth Avenue previously owned by Laurance S. Rockefeller.

It may have been expensive, but because the apartment was in a prewar co-op completed in 1931, it was a bargain in property taxes. Taxes in the building average $43,400 per apartment, or about $85,600 for Mr. Murdoch's apartment based upon his allocation of shares in the co-op.

If he lived in San Francisco, his taxes would be $503,360

Just sayin'.

?When it Comes to Taxes, Older is Better [The New York Times]