New York City Council Header
File #: Res 0057-2010    Version: * Name: U.S. State Department to reverse its decision to no longer require foreign governments to pay property taxes on non-exempt diplomatic residences.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed
Committee: Committee on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations
On agenda: 3/3/2010
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution urging the U.S. State Department to reverse its decision to no longer require foreign governments to pay property taxes on non-exempt diplomatic residences.
Sponsors: Michael C. Nelson, Inez E. Dickens, Lewis A. Fidler, Vincent J. Gentile, Jumaane D. Williams, Joel Rivera, Elizabeth S. Crowley, Darlene Mealy, James Vacca, Daniel Dromm , Eric A. Ulrich
Council Member Sponsors: 11
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
12/31/2013*Michael C. Nelson City Council Filed (End of Session)  Action details Meeting details Not available
3/3/2010*Michael C. Nelson City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
3/3/2010*Michael C. Nelson City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
Res. No. 57
 
 
Resolution urging the U.S. State Department to reverse its decision to no longer require foreign governments to pay property taxes on non-exempt diplomatic residences.
 
 
 
By Council Members Nelson, Dickens, Fidler, Gentile, Williams, Rivera, Crowley, Mealy, Vacca, Dromm and Ulrich  
 
Whereas, New York City is home to the United Nations, consisting of 192 permanent missions and 110 consulates; and
Whereas, For many years, the U.S. State Department followed a policy that the United Nations missions must pay appropriate local taxes on property used for nonexempt purposes; and
Whereas, In accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, property held in the name of a foreign government for use as its chancery, chancery annexes, consulates, or as the residence of the chief of mission or the career head of a consular post is exempt from all national, regional, and municipal dues and taxes; and
Whereas, Under the New York State tax law, real property owned by a foreign government that is a member of the United Nations or any world-wide international organization is exempt from paying property tax if such property is used exclusively for diplomatic offices or as housing for an ambassador or foreign minister; and
Whereas, If only a portion of the property is used for such exempt purposes, only that portion will be exempt from property taxes; and
Whereas, For years, the City has levied property taxes against foreign governments for that portion of their diplomatic office buildings used to house lower level employees and their families; and
Whereas, New York City has experienced difficulty in getting countries to pay taxes for housing their U.N. mission and consulate employees in the same buildings where they operate diplomatic offices; and
Whereas, In recent years, the City filed lawsuits against Turkey, India, Mongolia and the Philippines seeking reimbursement of the outstanding taxes, and has actively sought back payments from other nations; and
Whereas, In 2008, a federal court ordered India, Mongolia and the Philippines to pay New York City more than $57.6 million in back property taxes and interest for using their consulates and missions for non-diplomatic purposes; and
Whereas, India was ordered to pay $42.4 million, Mongolia to pay $4.3 million, and the Philippines to pay $10.9 million; and
Whereas, Turkey settled the litigation earlier for $5.1 million; and
Whereas, On June 23, 2009, the U.S Department of State reversed the longstanding policy requiring foreign governments to pay property taxes on diplomatic residences; and
Whereas, As a result of this ruling, the City is expected to lose approximately $260 million in back taxes and about $7 million a year in current tax revenues; and
Whereas, The State Department's decision to reverse its policy on foreign governments paying property taxes for the use of property for non-diplomatic purposes is especially detrimental to New York City during these harsh economic times; now, therefore, be it
      Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York urges the U.S. State Department to reverse its decision to no longer require foreign governments to pay property taxes on non-exempt diplomatic residences.
 
TC
Res 2237/2009
 
TC
LS #311