Senator Saland Announces Property Tax Rebate Law Signed By Governor

Stephen M. Saland

June 30, 2006

Senator Steve Saland (R,C Poughkeepsie), today announced that the initiative he unveiled in December to provide real property tax relief to homeowners, has been substantially adopted in a law signed by the Governor. As a result, Columbia and Dutchess County taxpayers, and taxpayers throughout the state, will receive much-needed relief to help pay for school property taxes this fall.

"The proposal I announced last December, as Chairman of the Senate Education Committee, is both the basis and catalyst for this new law," said Senator Saland. "This legislation is the product of that Senate initiative and I am very pleased that the Governor has seen fit to sign this into law," Saland continued. "This is an effective plan that will deliver much-needed property tax relief to hardworking, overburdened New Yorker real property taxpayers."

Under the property tax rebate legislation, taxpayers will be provided with a personal income tax refund check this fall for a portion of their school property taxes. Senior citizens who are Enhanced STAR recipients will receive a larger benefit than those, primarily non-seniors, who receive the basic STAR benefit. The total tax relief will be approximately $960 million annually.

The new tax credit will be in addition to the existing Federal and State deductions for local property taxes, STAR payments and the State circuit breaker tax credit. STAR recipients will be mailed tax credit claim forms this fall and refund checks must be mailed within 45 days.

Homeowners in Dutchess County receiving the basic STAR real property tax exemption will receive checks of an average of $210 dollars. Dutchess County seniors receiving the Enhanced STAR benefit will receive rebate checks of an average of $333. Similarly, Columbia County basic STAR recipients will receive checks at an average of $168 dollars, while seniors receiving the Enhanced STAR benefit will receive checks at an average of $255.

The savings to taxpayers from the new tax credit 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 law signed today uses a formula-driven tax credit to arrive at comparable savings for taxpayers.

"There is no issue more critical to homeowners, than the need for relief from the burden of rising property taxes," said Saland. "Under this new legislation, homeowners will realize property tax savings through direct receipt of a personal income tax refund check as a portion of their paid school property taxes. Building on the success of STAR, this program will provide a welcome relief to families across New York State," Saland concluded.