Senator Dilan Criticizes Senate Majority For Defeating Property Tax Relief Amendments

Martin Malavé Dilan

January 29, 2007

Saying "too many New Yorkers are being priced out of their homes because of skyrocketing property taxes," State Senator Martin Malave Dilan (D-Brooklyn) today expressed his disappointment that the SenateMajority defeated two amendments that would have strengthened their property tax proposal.

Senator Dilan said he and his SenateMinority colleagues have tried for years to address the growing burden of property taxes. He specifically cited the introduction of the ‘Fairness First,’ proposal in the 1990s, which eventually made the STAR program more equitable for homeowners and seniors throughout the State.

"My colleagues and I supported S.1-A, which was a great first step in addressing property taxes, but more can be done. STAR cannot take care of all the problems when it comes to structural inequities in our tax system, because it does not take into account a homeowner’s income and a region’s economic status," Dilan, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, said.

One amendment the SenateMinorityintroduced would have expanded the real property tax credit for seniors, from $375 to $1,125, and increased the maximum credit amount for all others from $75 to $225.

"Today, this credit doesn’t even come close to offsetting the double-digit property tax hikes we’ve seen during the last decade. Consider that this credit has not been increased in 30 years. The cost of everything has gone up, and we’re giving out 1970s-era tax credits. It simply doesn’t make any sense," Dilan said.

The second amendment would have expanded the personal income tax credit to the entire state. Currently, New York City renters are the only individuals eligible to receive the credit.

"We all know that renting an apartment here is a pricey proposition, but rental costs are increasing everywhere, mainly because of high property taxes. Last year the State increased the STAR credit for New York City renters. It is time to extend the savings to those New yorkers who live in the suburbs or Upstate," Dilan said.

He said the SenateMinority Conference will continue to introduce proposals to bring further tax relief to New Yorkers, and added that he hopes the provisions will be on the table when negotiations begin for the 2007-08 State Budget.

"Last year the voters sent a clear message that they are fed up with the way business is done in Albany. My colleagues and I will continue to address the causes of high taxes, and promote fiscal responsibility. The future of our State depends on the action we take now," Senator Dilan said.