Senate Passes Property Tax Relief Legislation

James L. Seward

June 12, 2006

The New York State Senate has passed legislation that would provide almost $1 billion in much-needed relief to hardworking, overburdened taxpayers to help pay their school property taxes this fall. The bill represents an agreement with the state assembly.

"My priority this year has been tax relief for New York's overburdened, hardworking families," Senator James L. Seward said. "The plan approved by the senate offers genuine additional relief for those pressed by New York's property tax burden."

"There is simply no issue more pressing or more important to New Yorkers than providing relief from the crushing burden of property taxes," Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno said. "We have to act to ensure that when school tax bills arrive this fall, taxpayers have help paying them. The senate is committed to providing the relief taxpayers desperately need."

The property tax relief plan (S.8174) would provide taxpayers advance personal income tax refund checks this fall for a portion of their school property taxes. Senior citizens would receive a significantly larger benefit than non-seniors.Tax relief would total an astounding$960 million annually.The new tax credit isin addition toexisting federal and state deductions for local property taxes, STAR payments and the state circuit breaker tax credit. New Yorkers currently receive a total $3.3 billion benefit from the STAR property tax relief program.

The savings to taxpayers from the new tax credit plan are comparable to the property tax relief included in the 2006-07 budget adopted by the Legislature that was vetoed by the governor and overridden by the legislature. The plan passed today uses a formula-driven tax credit to arrive at comparable savings for taxpayers and therefore is not a budget appropriation.

Under the new program, current STAR recipients will automatically be mailed tax credit claim forms.

Under state law, refund checks must be mailed within 45 days of the receipt of the claim form by the Department of Taxation and Finance.

The bill was sent to the assembly.