State Budget Reforms Will Improve The STAR Tax Credit System To Ensure Timely Delivery of Benefits

Budget reforms provide a mechanism for prompt payments

ALBANY – After hearing from frustrated homeowners about the failure of the State Department of Taxation and Finance to postmark all STAR Personal Income Tax (STAR PIT) credit checks, Senator Catharine Young’s (R,C,I- 57th District) went to work to rectify the situation.

After passing legislation to require STAR PIT credit checks be mailed in advance of September 15 and to provide interest to taxpayers if checks are late, Senator Young has secured significant reforms to the system as part of the recently enacted state budget.

Language agreed upon and signed into law as part of the state budget now specifies that the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance can issue preliminary advance payment checks to taxpayers based upon an estimate of the STAR tax savings applicable to their school district. Checks will also be issued based upon the date at which the school district tax roll is filed with the department.

 “We heard from an overwhelmingly number from homeowners who were frustrated by the slow disbursement of STAR PIT credit checks. They need these funds to help pay their school tax bill and they should be receiving their full benefits in a timely fashion. The Department of Taxation and Finance now has a mechanism to provide preliminary advance credit payments to qualified homeowners,” said Senator Young.

“Hardworking taxpayers deserve this relief, and new homeowners who receive their STAR credit as a refundable property tax credit should not bear the additional tax burden while the state holds on to their money. When the Senate first established the STAR program it was intended to deliver significant savings for taxpayers and it has done just that, providing almost $60 billion in property tax relief to eligible homeowners. The reforms made to the system this year will benefit those who receive the credit without imposing an added burden to the system,” said Senator Young.

Senator Young introduced her legislation after receiving more than 100 complaints from her constituents about the lateness of checks. The reforms included in the budget, which are based on Senator Young’s bill, work to ensure that the previous failures experienced by customers were not repeated in the future.

The enacted budget also rejected the Governor’s proposal to cap the growth of the STAR benefits, ensuring that homeowners and seniors continue to receive this needed relief.