Senator Carl L. Marcellino today announced that legislation to increase the size of direct property tax rebate checks for senior citizen homeowners has passed the New York State Senate. The legislation, which has been sent to the Assembly for action, would return about $200 million to the senior citizens of New York State.
New York State closed out the last fiscal year with $431 million more in tax collections than was estimated and this proposal would use a portion of these additional funds to increase property tax rebate checks for senior citizens.
" When we have higher-than-projected state revenues realized at end of the year that money should be returned to the overburdened taxpayer. I am extremely hopeful that the Assembly and the Governor will join with us in returning this money our seniors." stated Senator Marcellino.
The average rebate check for seniors who are eligible for the Enhanced STAR program averaged $375 in direct tax relief for Suffolk County and $410 for Nassau County residents that was increased to approximately $421 for Suffolk County and $500 for Nassau County in direct relief in the recently enacted budget. The plan passed by the Senate would increase that amount to an estimated $750 for Suffolk County and $820 for Nassau County residents for the coming year.
"This is the taxpayers money and they deserve to spend it how they see fit. The individual taxpayers needs to know that New York State is going to return their money to them when the opportunity arises and this is a perfect example of how we can achieve that goal," added Senator Marcellino.
During budget negotiations, the Governor insisted that funds for rebate checks be reduced by $200 million and, as a result, senior citizens did not receive an increase in property tax rebates.
The adopted budget included $1.3 billion for additional property tax relief which doubled the size of rebate checks for the average homeowner, but not for seniors.