Senator Steve Saland (R,C Poughkeepsie) today announced that the budget agreed on by the Legislature will provide a total of more than $4.2 billion in tax relief over the next two years, including almost $2 billion in property tax relief. In addition, $72 million is included for STAR cost of living increases for senior citizens.
The budget includes the Senate's plan for property tax relief, announced by Senator Saland in December, in the form of direct rebate checks to property taxpayers. In Columbia County, Enhanced STAR homeowners (ie: eligible senior citizens) can expect to receive rebate checks to average $255, depending on what school district they live in. This is in addition to their Enhanced STAR savings, which will average $850 in property tax deductions. For basic STAR homeowners, residents can expect their rebate checks to average $168 in addition to property tax deductions averaging $560. Residents can expect to see their rebate checks in October 2006.
"I am pleased that rebate legislation passed by the Senate Majority is included in the Legislature's budget. It will ease the burden on taxpayers by providing almost $2 billion in property tax relief," said Senator Saland. "Homeowners, particularly those on fixed incomes, find it increasing difficult to remain in their homes as taxes rise. I am sure that rebate checks, in addition to previously enacted STAR savings, will be welcomed by homeowners."
The budget also includes a child credit that mirrors the Senate's plan to provide $330 tax credits to parents with children between the ages of four and 17. The Empire State Credit is modeled on the current federal child credit and will provide $600 million in relief to New York families.