Legislature Approves New Property Tax Relief Plan

George Winner

June 12, 2006

Albany, N.Y.-- The New York State Senate today gave final legislative approval to legislation co-sponsored by Senator George H. Winner, Jr. (R-C, Elmira) to enact a plan to provide nearly $1 billion in new, direct school property tax relief to homeowners this fall.

The legislation was approved earlier today by the state Assembly.

"Property taxpayers need tax relief, and they need it now," said Winner.

In its 2006-07 state budget, the Legislature included a new, direct property tax rebate plan that was vetoed by Governor George Pataki. The Legislature overrode the Pataki veto, however the governor has called the Legislature’s action unconstitutional and left in doubt whether he would authorize the new tax savings for homeowners this fall.

The newly agreed-upon program approved by the Legislature today replaces the one Pataki deemed unconstitutional with a new personal income tax (PIT) refundable credit of approximately the same value for homeowners. It will save taxpayers statewide $960 million. The new refundable PIT is based on school taxes paid on the first $9,000 of full value of a primary residence.

The new PIT program (S.8174) will provide taxpayers an advance personal income tax refund check this fall for a portion of their school property taxes. Senior citizens would receive a larger benefit than non-seniors. Current STAR recipients will automatically be mailed claim forms for the new tax credit. The refund checks must be mailed within 45 days of the receipt of a claim form by the state Department of Taxation and Finance.

On average, senior and non-senior taxpayers in area counties will receive the following tax credits under the Legislature’s new property tax relief plan:

-- Chemung County: seniors ($285), non-seniors ($192);

-- Schuyler County: seniors ($240), non-seniors ($168);

-- Steuben County: seniors ($249), non-seniors ($180);

-- Tompkins County: seniors ($276), non-seniors ($201); and

-- Yates County: seniors ($204), non-seniors ($138).

The new tax credit will be in addition to existing federal and state deductions for local property taxes, STAR payments and the state’s circuit breaker tax credit. New Yorkers currently receive a total $3.3 billion benefit from the STAR property tax relief program.