Sen. Farley Reports Senate Passes Tax Relief Legislation

Hugh T. Farley

June 11, 2014

State Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Schenectady) reported that he and his colleagues in the State Senate recently passed seven bills that would provide tax relief to businesses, expand exemptions from the job-killing MTA payroll tax, encourage historic preservation projects, reduce energy taxes, protect forestland, and provide tax benefits to disabled veterans, as well as teachers who purchase school supplies.

The bills approved by the Senate included:

Expanding the Historic Preservation Tax Credit

Bill S4642A would encourage more revitalization projects by increasing the maximum award available under the historic preservation tax credit from $5 million to $12 million dollars for developers willing to rehabilitate historic buildings.

Current law caps the tax credit at $5 million on a project which can act as a disincentive for the development of larger, more blighted or more expensive projects. This legislation continues the 20-percent tax credit but raises the maximum threshold to $12 million.

Full Property Tax Exemption for Totally Disabled Veterans

Legislation (S6563A) would make the primary residence of a permanently, totally disabled veteran exempt from property taxes. The exemption helps address concerns that totally disabled veterans who are unable to pay skyrocketing property taxes may be forced out of their homes.

Reducing Energy Taxes on Businesses

Bill S3471 would make businesses in New York State fully exempt from the Petroleum Business Tax (PBT) on heating fuel. Currently, residential consumers are fully exempt from the PBT on heating fuel, while businesses receive a partial exemption. The bill would completely eliminate the PBT on heating fuel for commercial use.

Tax Credit To Encourage Forest & Habitat Conservation

Bill S1005A would create a forestry stewardship and habitat conservation tax credit for personal income and business franchise taxes. The tax credit would provide an incentive for private forest landowners to keep their land from development and preserve the benefits provided by contiguous forests to wildlife, water quality, and the forest-based economy.

Tax Deduction for Teachers Who Purchase School Supplies

Bill S3626D would create a state personal income tax deduction of up to $500 per year for out-of-pocket school supply expenses incurred by public and non-public school teachers of grades K-12. Many teachers spend hundreds of dollars a year on supplies for their classes and while there is a federal tax deduction, no state deduction currently exists.

All of the tax relief bills passed by the Senate today will be sent to the Assembly.

Other job-creating tax cut measures initiated by Senate Republicans were included in the 2014-15 state budget, including:

* Eliminating the corporate income tax on manufacturers this year;

* Creating real property tax credit of 20 percent for manufacturers that lease or own property;

* Accelerating the elimination of the 18-a energy tax surcharge to save all business and residential ratepayers $600 million over the next three years; and

* Increasing the estate tax exclusion over the next five years from $1 million to $5.25 million. Starting in 2019, the exclusion will be equalized with the federal exemption and indexed to inflation, thereafter.