Harlem Tax Protest

Learn how to protest high taxes in Harlem.

Contest Your Property Taxes for Fair Share
Learn how on Saturday, March 11, 2023 from 11am to 12pm
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 868 4723 4917+16465588656,,86847234917# US (New York)

NYS and NYC import over 6,500 substance abuse disorder patients into Harlem 6 days a week and requires the thousands of single adult homeless residents to vacate during the day, resulting in drug users flooding the community, open drug sales and use, loitering, violence, and threats to the health and safety of our children, residents, and businesses.

We want the City and State to distribute social services equitably throughout the 5 boroughs.  There are 46 Districts in NYC with less than 10 drug treatment facilities.  Five districts have NONE.  Harlem has 46 in a two square mile area.  Harlem is home to one of only two safe injection sites in NYS, and the most methadone clinics, homeless shelters, needle exchange programs, and LACK of homeless services in NYC.

For the last 50 years Harlem residents have among others, repeatedly contacted State and Local officials, protested, sent postcards, begged and pleaded, all to no avail.  Now we are incorporating another approach.We are asking owners of one – three family homes to join us to protest our real estate taxes using the exact same reason – our property values are 50% too high because we are oversaturated.

Send your name and address to [email protected].Educate yourselves about how your taxes are calculated by reading theNYC Tax Class One Guide and your Notice of Property Values.Attend our information session on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at 11am. Protest, even if your taxes are low.  We are protesting the oversaturation of drug treatment, harm reduction, and adults only homeless shelters by replacing posters with a tax revolt.  If enough Harlem residents contest their taxes, we are sure to get the city’s and media’s attention. Our voices must be heard.You still have to pay your taxes in the same manner you do now.  This is not a withholding of taxes protest; it is an amount of taxes protest

Media coverage and recognition by NYS and NYC that we will use all means necessary to defend our community.

A potential reduction in some of our property taxes.

NO. Everyone can challenge their property taxes without fear of retribution from the city. It is a common practice that many employ but few know about.         

 NYC cannot raise your taxes if you challenge the amount.  They can only lower it.You may have other legitimate reasons to lower your taxes that you should pursue in addition to our protest.

Harlem Tax Protest Yields Results

The Protest:

For the second year in a row, Maria Granville and other residents have protested that our community is unfairly overtaxed and oversaturated.

In March the protesters held a press conference outside of 1 Centre Street to voice their outrage over our diminishing quality of life caused by the oversaturation of drug treatment and social services facilities in Harlem, especially surrounding the 125th street corridor between Lenox and Lexington avenues.

At the city hall protest, M. Indigo Washington, Director of Community Affairs & special projects spoke eloquently on behalf of State Senator Cordell Cleare about the need to equitably distribute needed treatment and services throughout New York City.

Wilfredo Lopez who is running for Robert Rodriguez’s former State Assembly seat, discussed how blatant redlining continues today with the concentration of drug treatment and other social service facilities in historically redlined communities.

As a result of the campaign to right this systemic injustice, approximately 30 individuals contested their taxes. The organizers gave special thanks to District Leader William Smith who shared his organizational and political skills to make the press conference a success, and Eva Chan, Maria Freedman, and Todd Stevens for research, communications, and motivation.


The office of New York State Senator Cordell Cleare sent this message to the organizers and protesters:

Good Morning,

My apologies for this delayed response. We had a number of emergencies in the district including a fire on 145th Street that occurred a week or two after your press conference. 

Please be reassured that I reported back to Senator Cleare regarding your event.

I also wanted to provide you and your group with a quick update. Based on the outcry of your organization, other groups, community residents, businesses, 125th Street BID and elected officials, Mayor Eric Adams has responded and is in the process of implementing a plan, 125th Street Revitalization/Recovery Initiative to allocate resources to address this problem.

There was a mtg held this past Friday (4.1.22) for staff of elected officials to hear directly from city agencies regarding what steps and role their agencies plan to play over the next few weeks.

There is a location that will be utilized on 125th Street where community folk can drop by and voice their concerns, as well as learn about the progress of this effort. The address is 66 West 125th Street.

Feel free to reach out if you have any additional concerns.


M. Ndigo Washington

Director of Community Affairs and Operations 

Office of State Senator Cordell Cleare 

Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. State Office Building, Suite 912 


[email protected] 

Harlem Tax Protest

Oversaturation Tax Protest
Join us on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at 6:00pm for a 1-hour information session.
Hello Harlem Neighbors
Harlem has over 20% of NYC drug treatment and homeless shelters, the majority of which are concentrated within .4 miles on 125th street. This hyper-concentration of social services is having a deleterious effect on all who live, work, worship, and go to school in Harlem. Why is a community that makes up only 4.3% of NYC’s population carrying over 20% of the burden? We support fair share meaning every community in the city, including Harlem, should support the social service needs of their population within their community.
MMPCIA is vigorously working to force NYS and NYC to recognize the damage being inflicted on our community by sponsoring actions like the protest rally on October 9, 2021 that garnered media coverage from all of the major outlets and over 250 participants.
Our next protest is different. We are going to exercise our annual right to contest our real estate taxes using the exact same reason – our market and assessed values are 50% too high because of the concentration of social services programs in our community.
We need all property owners to join this protest, even if your taxes are low. Remember, we are protesting the oversaturation and the accompanying increase in crime, open drug sales and use, and poor sanitation. We may not experience a reduction in taxes, but if enough Harlem owners contest their taxes, it will be another successful effort in our quest for equitable distribution of services throughout the city.
Meeting ID: 868 4723 49171 646 558 8656 (New York)
ZOOM: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86847234917
Meeting ID: 868 4723 4917
Quick Facts:
Notice of Property Values is sent to each owner annually every January. The owners of 1, 2, and 3 family homes have until March 15, 2022 to argue that their taxes are too high. The deadline for all other properties is March 1, 2022. 
See https://www1.nyc.gov/site/finance/taxes/challenge-your-assessment.page for more information.
Property tax information is public knowledge. Everyone can find out how much tax any property is being charged by going to https://a836-pts-access.nyc.gov/care/forms/htmlframe.aspx?mode=content/home.htm
NYC cannot raise your taxes if you challenge the amount. They can only lower it.
 You still have to pay your taxes, in the same manner, you do now. This is not a withholding of taxes protest; it is an amount of taxes protest.
You may have other legitimate reasons to lower your taxes that you should pursue with our protest.
The information contained in this message is for general information purposes only, MMPCIA makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the information, services, or related graphics. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

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