The Senate and Assembly yesterday passed legislation co-sponsored by Senator John Bonacic which will provide tax credit to homeowners in the fall of 2006.
Earlier this year, initiated by Senator John Bonacic (R/I/C - Mt. Hope) and other Senate Republicans, the Legislature adopted a plan to rebate school property taxes to homeowners. The tax rebates were included in the adopted State budget, but were vetoed by Governor Pataki, who is refusing to release the funds, which averaged $300 per household.
"New Yorkers want property tax relief now. This tax credit will provide immediate relief. The credits under the legislation enacted yesterday would be:
County Average Credit Average Credit
(Senior) (Non Senior)
Delaware $333 $165
Orange $390 $246
Sullivan $315 $216
Ulster $324 $219
Senator Bonacic continued, "More needs to be done! The Senate has passed legislation which would phase out the school property tax and shift the financing of education to the state in communities that opt in. The Senate has also approved legislation requiring the formation of a commission to explore and offer school finance alternatives. It is unfortunate that the Assembly's City dominated majority has failed to act on any of these proposals."
The school property tax is a particularly significant problem in the Hudson Valley. Statewide, nearly 90% of school budgets passed, but in the Hudson Valley counties of Ulster and Dutchess, more than 60% failed. "The benefits of STAR have diminished due to spending increases, therefore, this tax credit is helpful and is the only way way of ensuring relief goes directly into property taxpayers pockets. I will continue to push for a permanent change in the way we fund education, as well as push for other property tax reform initiatives to relieve the burden on taxpayers," concluded Senator Bonacic."