Senator Jeff Klein, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Joined by Elected Officials & Seniors, Celebrate Major Property Tax Savings That Are On The Way for Homeowners

SCHE/DHE program expansion set to help thousands more live affordably in New York 

Bronx, NY — Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester), Mayor Bill de Blasio, joined by Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto and Bronx seniors, celebrated the anticipated expansion of the Senior Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE) and Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption (DHE) on Friday.

This year, Senator Klein fought to increase the income eligibility for the SCHE and DHE programs which provide major property tax exemptions to residents living on fixed incomes. In The Bronx, seniors could potentially save upwards of $1,000 a year through the exemption.

The proposal  received support from Mayor de Blasio.

The New York State Senate recently passed legislation carried by Independent Democratic Conference member Senator Diane Savino, which would raise the income cap for SCHE/DHE to $50,000 for a full 50% property tax exemption and to $58,400 for a partial exemption, which will provide much-needed relief to New York City homeowners. The eligibility levels have not been raised since 2006. The current income limit for a full 50% reduction is just $29,000. 

It is expected to pass in the Assembly, where Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh carries the legislation.

“Our seniors deserve to live out their golden years without worrying that they can no longer afford their homes, the places where they raised their children and hold cherished memories. It is important that for seniors and disabled homeowners living on tight budgets we create an affordable New York by bringing real property tax relief by raising the income eligibility for SCHE and DHE to 2017 levels. I’m proud that the IDC has been the driving force behind this policy and I thank the Mayor de Blasio for his support,” said Senator Klein.

“Since the creation of these programs, life has changed significantly in New York City. We’ve watched the cost of living increase, but the income requirements for SCHE and DHE have remained stagnant,” said Mayor de Blasio. “New York City’s seniors should not be worrying about how they’ll afford to stay in their homes. At a time when we’re facing tax cuts for billionaires by billionaires, it is our duty to do all we can for those most deserving of some assistance. 

The program will help seniors save big in The Bronx. On average a qualifying homeowner in:

  • Throggs Neck will save $1,029 a year
  • Morris Park will save  $2,637 a year
  • Melrose will save $1,589 a year
  • University Heights will save $1,523 a year
  • Soundview will save $2,339 a year
  • Riverdale will save $1,017 a year

On average a homeowner who qualifies for the program under the expanded income threshold could save up to $1,750 a year. 

This proposal would also increase the cap for partial exemptions to $58,400, with property tax exemptions provided to qualified senior and disabled homeowners on a sliding scale.

SCHE/DHE at $50,000 (Proposed)

 Income Range

Abatement

$57,500 - $58,400

5%

$56,600 - $57,499

10.0%

$55,700 - $56,599

15.0%

$54,800 - $55,699

20.0%

$53,900 - $54,799

25.0%

$53,000 - $53,899

30.0%

$52,000 - $52,999

35.0%

$50,100 - $51,999

40.0%

$50,001 - $50,999

45.0%

$0 - $50,000

50.0%

The proposal has received praise from numerous advocacy groups.

 “Offering tax relief to ensure aging New Yorkers can afford their housing is critically important to strengthening our communities and making New York a better place to live for everyone,” said Barry Kaufmann, President of the New York State Alliance for Retired Americans. “We are very grateful to Senator Klein and Senator Savino for recognizing this challenge and advancing this legislation.”
“We stand with Senators Savino and Klein in supporting the expansion of these critical tax exemptions for elderly New Yorkers,” said Christie Peale, Executive Director of the Center for NYC Neighborhoods. “As is, the exemptions exclude too many vulnerable seniors, especially in New York City, where the costs of living are so high. Expanding these exemptions will protect these homeowners and promote affordability.”

 “Older adults are the fastest-growing population in New York City and it is essential that we work to protect the seniors who live here. United Neighborhood Houses has supported efforts to expand SCRIE in the past and is proud to supports efforts to expand the Senior Citizen Homeowner Exemption Program. Seniors help make communities vibrant and diverse, and this proposal will help them stay in their homes rather than in nursing homes or hospitals,” said Nora Moran, Senior Policy Analyst, United Neighborhood Houses.

 “Every day we see seniors on fixed incomes struggling to make ends meet. The proposed legislation will provide much-needed relief to senior homeowners in New York City,” said Elaine Rockoff, Director of Community Based Programs, JASA.