New York Dominates the Top 100 US Property Taxes in 2017

Now that this year’s tax filing season has passed, COMMERCIALCafé decided to put together the 2017 top 100 U.S. property taxes, as a follow up on their 2016 list, to see if any notable year-over-year differences in ranking, new entries or new contenders for the top spots would turn up.

Just like last year, the list consists of a mix of office, industrial, residential, mixed-use, retail, hotel and entertainment properties. The five highest taxpaying properties remain unmoved, but with eight new entries and some changes in tax amounts, the rest of the list was somewhat shuffled.

Not surprisingly, New York state claims a monopoly on the top 20. Moreover, out of the 100 contenders on our list, 78 are properties located in New York state. In 2017, these properties generated a combined total of $2.2 billion in property tax revenue, 82% of the total contributed by all 100. Keep reading to learn more about COMMERCIALCafé’s top 100 taxpaying properties of 2017.

Northport Power Station Continues to Reign as the Top Taxpaying Property in the US

With a tax bill of just over $82 million in 2017, the Northport Power Station in Fort Salonga, N.Y., remains the highest taxpaying property in the U.S. Built in 1967, it is the largest natural gas and conventional oil electric power generating station on the East Coast, as well as one of the four technologically out-of-date, little-used plants for which the Long Island Power Authority reportedly pays $196 million a year in taxes.

As nearly 66% of the $82 million property tax is levied for the Northport School District, it comes as no surprise that LIPA’s attempt to reduce the bills sparked controversy—a suit was filed in 2010, in order to cut down the taxes on the four plants by as much as 90%. The hearing on the issue is expected to occur in June, and it may influence the way the list will look next year.

The General Motors Building claims second place, as well as the title of the top taxpaying office property in the U.S. Its owners, Boston Properties, Zhang Xin and the Safra family, shelled out $76 million on property taxes in 2017. The Stuyvesant Town residential community located at 252 1st Ave. in Manhattan rounds off the top three, with $67 million paid in property taxes last year.

5 New Entries Making Waves in Manhattan

Former “Western Union Building” (Yardi Matrix)

Five of the eight new entries on the 2017 list are Manhattan properties—Chelsea Market, the Western Union Building, the office building at 40 West 57th St., VIA 57 WEST, and the CBS building. Their combined property taxes amount to just a little over the $82 million bill that claimed the top spot.

Formerly known as the Western Union Building, the commercial property located at 60 Hudson St. in Downtown Manhattan entered the list at #91. The 23-story, art deco building now houses a data and colocation center, where more than 100 telecommunication companies interconnect. It is the only such property on our list, boasting a tax bill of $16.6 million.

Following a 68% year-over-year increase in taxes, VIA 57 WEST takes the #97 spot and becomes the only residential community outside Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village to make the top 100 this year. The pyramid designed by Bjarke Ingels Group offers 36 affordable rental units and has a tax bill of $16 million. It also houses the first movie theatre to open in Midtown Manhattan in over a decade.

The CBS Building Rounds Off the Top 100

CBS Building (Yardi Matrix)

Located at 51 West 52nd St., the CBS Building was billed just under $16 million in property taxes in 2017, landing the closing spot in our list. This makes for a striking 81% difference between the first and the 100th place tax values. Presently assessed at a market value of about $360 million, the 38-story Modernist building was designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen and dubbed “Black Rock” because of its unique dark color.

As far as properties located outside New York are concerned, notable entries include the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. (#22), Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa (#58), the Fremont Tesla Factory (#67), and the One Prudential Plaza tower in Chicago (#77).


Check out more details on the Top 100 US Property Taxes in 2017 on the COMMERCIALCafé blog.

Alexandra Farcas

Alexandra Farcas

Alexandra is a staff writer and communications specialist at CommercialCafe, covering commercial real estate trends, news and tips. Her work can also be found on the PropertyShark blog, where she usually writes about the latest office deals. Alexandra’s articles have been featured by Bustle, NBC Washington, Thrive Global, the Boston Business Journal, The Durst Organization, Philly Mag, HR Dive.

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