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Issues

Class 3 & 4

Con Edison is supporting a New York State Assembly bill (A.8926) to eliminate the separate utility properties’ tax category, Class 3, and combine it with Class 4, commercial and industrial properties, creating one class. (New York City has four property tax classes: Class 1 is for single-family homes; Class 2 is for apartment houses, Class 3 is utilities, Class 4 is commercial properties).

Combining Classes 3 and 4 is revenue neutral for New York City tax coffers. The new combined classes would generate the same tax revenue that Classes 3 and 4 generated separately.

The Independent Budget Office (IBO) has confirmed the revenue neutral calculation. In addition, the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) also supports the Assembly bill.

Con Edison constitutes 80 percent of the assessed valuation in Class 3, and the company paid more than $1 billion in property taxes in 2010. Property taxes are passed along in customers’ bills. In fact, 27 percent of a Con Edison customer’s monthly bill goes to pay government taxes and fees.

Recent reductions in assessed values have given little relief to Con Edison in Class 3, since the tax rate has neutralized assessment reductions. Con Edison owns 80 percent of the properties in Class 3, so challenges are impractical since there are no comparables.

Combining the two classes could mean savings up to $174 million a year for customers. Lower property taxes will provide more funds for system reliability and boost economic development.

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