Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R-Syosset) and the Long Island Senate delegation today announced a new proposal to help alleviate the burden placed on LI’s property taxpayers. Through the State Senate’s REBATE-NY plan, homeowners in Nassau and Suffolk counties would receive $532.8 million in school tax rebate checks directly from New York State and save another $71 million through larger state school tax exemptions. In addition, REBATE-NY reforms various aspects of the school budgeting process and school district management, promotes local government efficiency and establishes a "Blue Ribbon" commission to review rising school spending and district financing.
To investigate the underlying causes of the rising property tax burden imposed upon homeowners, the NYS Senate commissioned a study conducted by the internationally-recognized consulting firm Global Insight which reveals Long Island’s total local government (including school district) and education spending exceeds both the statewide average and that for downstate suburban counties.
While school districts in Nassau and Suffolk counties receive $270 million (74%) and $515 million (60%), respectively, more each year than they did a decade ago, the average property tax bill for Nassau County households is 87% above the statewide mean and 24% higher than the downstate suburban region. In Suffolk County, the average property tax burden is 47% above the statewide amount, but 3% lower than the downstate suburban mean. Notably, money saved by Long Island homeowners through the state’s School Tax Relief ("STAR") program has helped lower these figures.
"Working with school officials and local elected officials, we need to identify long term and effective solutions to the high property taxes that we are now facing. All levels of government must be held fiscally accountable to the taxpayer and the taxpayer needs to see results," said Senator Carl L. Marcellino (R-Syosset)
REBATE-NY School Tax Rebate Program
Under the tax rebate plan, LI homeowners would receive $532.8 million in direct rebate checks from NYS. This would be in addition to the homeowner’s STAR school tax exemption. To help homeowners pay their 2006 property tax bills, the state would begin issuing rebate checks in September 2006. In 2006, the rebate would equal 30% of the homeowner’s STAR savings for the 2005-06 school year, with the rebate rising to 50% in 2007 and 75% in 2008. Because of Long Island’s high school taxes, rebate checks to Nassau and Suffolk County residents would be among the state’s largest.