A flip tax is a fee paid by a seller or buyer on a housing co-op transaction typically in New York City. It is not a tax, and not deductible as a property tax. It is a transfer fee payable upon the sale of an apartment to the co-op.
Flip taxes are considered a method to help raise money for a co-op's overhead expenses without raising the maintenance fees or assessing flat charge to all residences. Charging the fee to those who are leaving the building seems to be the most politically feasible.
Types of flip taxes:
- A flat fee
- A dollar amount based on shares allocated to the subject apartment
- A percentage based on the sales price
- A percentage based on the net profit of the sale
- A fee based on the duration the seller has owned the apartments (shorter time periods of ownership typically bring higher fees)
The imposition of flip taxes in New York City has been supported in the courts. The New York State Legislature in July 1986 acted on a proposal from the Council of New York Cooperatives and Condominiums and defined in what way co-ops could legally impose these fees. Specifically, the law allows such an assessment:
- if it is sanctioned in the co-ops proprietary lease, or
- if not sanctioned in the lease, as long as the lease is amended with more than two thirds of shareholders approving.
- "Understanding Flip Taxes". Council of Cooperatives and Condominiums in New York City. Autumn 2002. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
- Romano, Jay (15 February 2005). "A Condo 'Flip Tax'? Lawyers Say Yes.". The New York Times. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
- Coppolo, George (21 February 2008). "Condominiums: Flip Taxes". Retrieved 2016-05-03.