Investigations Committee checks on rebate checks

ALBANY, NY – The State Senator who chairs the New York State Senate Committee on Investigations & Government Operations wants to know why the State’s various property tax rebate check programs have been delayed. The State has struggled to mail both STAR Tax Credit and Real Property Tax Freeze checks to qualified homeowners in a timely fashion, which has caused tax implications for New York State residents.

“For too long, the State has been telling people that the check is in the mail,” Senator Murphy said. “The Department of Taxation and Finance has to stop providing excuses and start providing answers. The Investigations Committee will get to the bottom of exactly what is causing these unacceptable delays, so protocols can be put into place that will ensure timely delivery of these rebate checks.”

The programs came under fire today during a discussion with the State’s acting Commissioner of Taxation & Finance as part of the budget process during joint legislative public hearing on taxes, which devolved into a discussion on the State’s failure to mail property tax rebate checks by the statutory deadline.

While the acting Commissioner was unable to provide answers at the hearing, Senator Murphy had already transmitted the same inquiry to the Department of Taxation and Finance last week asking these exact same questions. He asked, specifically:

  • When does Taxation and Finance expect all of the checks to be fully processed?
  • How many applications for either the STAR Tax Credit or Real Property Tax Freeze check has the committee received?
  • Under each program, how many checks have been sent and how many are yet to be processed?
  • What is the average timeframe for processing individual applications?
  • Does the department record the checks as an expense when they are received and are there sufficient funds available to pay all outstanding checks simultaneously rather than in batches? If not, why?

The Department of Taxation and Finance has until February 16th to provide answers to the Committee. “The State may not have provided timely checks, but they will provide a timely response,” Murphy added.