Google Saves $21 M. in Taxes After ‘Highly Unusual’ Assessment
The city’s Finance Department reportedly overruled property assessments on Google’s sprawling Chelsea office building at 111 Eighth Avenue twice over the past two years, resulting in $21 million in tax savings.
In February of 2012, an assistant commissioner ordered a reduction in an $816 million appraisal for the building to $628 million, reducing Google’s taxes by about $8.7 million, according to a report from the Daily News’ Juan Gonzalez, which quoted sources who called the reduction “highly unusual.”
Then, in November, a department supervisor overruled another tax assessor’s appraisal that the Google building’s market value should be hiked to $1.2 billion for the current tax year, cutting that appraisal to $827 million, for an additional $12.6 million in tax savings.
The assessor “resisted pressure from higher up to change his appraisal” for weeks, according to the report, as his $92 per square foot assessment was $50 higher than that made by a supervisor, who according to the report may have used a private three-story brownstone six blocks away as a “comparable” property.
Department spokesman Owen Stone told the News that his agency corrected “a mistake” in its original appraisal of the building, noting that assessors had used a previous income and expenses report from the former owner because Google had only filed a partial report during its first year of ownership.