While millions of New Yorkers pay thousands in property taxes, Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) pays just $250 in taxes on his Brooklyn condo thanks to a generous tax break he helped get passed into law.
Jeffries’ quarterly property tax bill due in April is a mere $52.69, according to the New York City Finance Department. His previous three quarterly bills were $52.69, $52.97, and $52.97. The records show he has paid approximately $250 in annual property taxes since 2010.
Following reports of his sweetheart tax deal, Jeffries claimed his family is at risk and invoked the January 6 Capitol riots in his defense.
Andy Eichar, a spokesperson for Jeffries said:
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries and his family have been specifically targeted with threats of violence on January 6th and thereafter. The effort to single out his home with phony outrage over a tax abatement his and 30,000 properties in Brooklyn have qualified for since their construction is reckless, irresponsible and may ultimately put his family at risk. Shame on you.
Jeffries can pay so little in property taxes because he co-sponsored and voted to renew the tax break during his time as a member of the New York State Assembly.
According to the New York Post:
The law provides developers and residents property tax breaks over 25 or 35 years in exchange for making at least 20 percent of the apartments “affordable” for moderate- to low-income residents.
The generous tax scheme costs the New York City treasury upwards of $1.6 billion in annual property tax revenues. While Jeffries pays as little as $250, the median property tax in his city is over $5,000. A Queens homeowner told the New York Post his annual property tax is more than $9,000.
Local housing activists blasted Jeffries, calling him “abusive” and “ridiculous” for taking advantage of the tax break. “With all due respect, Hakeem Jeffries doesn’t need help in paying his full property taxes,” said Michael McKee, treasurer of Tenants PAC.
Curtis Sliwa, former Republican mayoral candidate, said Jeffries is an example of “classic New York chutzpah.” Sliwa said:
Jeffries walks around like he’s a man of the people. Meanwhile he’s ripping people off. It’s a ripoff of the taxpayers. He’s happy to get this sweetheart deal while screwing the public. Pay your fair share of property taxes, Congressman Jeffries! Stand up and set an example. Make up for how long you’ve been ripping off the system.
It doesn’t look like Jeffries will start paying the total value of his property tax anytime soon. New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D) recommended extending the tax break in her proposed $216 billion budget plan revealed last week.