Senator Flanagan Announces Family Tax Relief Act

John J. Flanagan

March 04, 2013

Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) joined with the other members of the Senate Republican Conference today in unveiling the Family Tax Relief Act.  This package of tax relief and reform measures is designed to provide a major economic boost to New York’s struggling middle class families. 

The plan would increase tax breaks which have not kept pace with inflation and, in some instances, have not been adjusted for more than 25 years.  The plan would also restore the STAR property tax rebate check program to provide real and direct relief to millions of New Yorkers who pay some of the highest property taxes in the country.

“This plan is designed to help those who work an honest day for an honest paycheck and who have continuously seen less and less of the money they earn.  Simply put, it will allow our families to succeed as opposed to simply paying their bills.  This is an assertive step towards making this state friendlier to families and to helping them to continue to call New York home,” stated Senator Flanagan.

The Senate Republican Family Tax Relief Act includes the following:

Restore STAR Property Tax Rebate Checks: Restore STAR Rebate Check Program to provide an estimated additional $1.3 billion in tax relief to provide real and direct relief to millions of people across the state, including seniors and middle class families.
 Before the Senate Democrats voted to eliminate the STAR Rebate Check Program in 2009, it provided real and direct relief to millions of people across the state.  The Senate Republican plan would restore the program, providing a major boost to seniors and middle class families who are getting squeezed by high property taxes.
 By restoring the STAR Rebate Checks, the plan would provide homeowners with an average rebate check of $445 while the average Enhanced STAR rebate check for seniors would be $460.

Increase Dependent Exemption: Provide the first increase in the Dependent Exemption since 1987 by increasing it from $1,000 to $2,020 per dependent and allow a subtraction from gross income for each dependent the taxpayer claims.

Increase Dependent Care Credit: Increase the percentage range of the federal child care credit that parents can receive, from a 20 percent to 110 percent range (depending on income), to 27 percent to 150 percent range of the federal child care credit.  This would be the first increase since 1999.

Increase Child Tax Credit: Increase the maximum Child Tax Credit from $330 to $375 to adjust for inflation.  This change, which is the first amendment to this credit since 2006, would increase the state Child Tax Credit from 33 percent of the federal credit to 37.5 percent.  In New York State, married-joint filers with income less than $130,000 and people who file individually with income less than $95,000 who have a child that is between the ages of 4 and 16 can receive the credit.
 The plan would provide an additional $500 Child Tax Credit per family for child care expenses.

The United States Commerce Department recently reported that retail sales across the country slowed down after the federal payroll tax was increased and consumers took home less money in their paychecks.  According to the IRS, the payroll tax hike took $83 a month away from an individual with an annual salary of $50,000; $125 a month from a worker making $75,000 and $166 a month from someone earning $100,000 a year.
 The Family Tax Relief Act would build on the Senate Republican’s record of providing tax relief to middle class families, including the historic property tax cap which finally put the brakes on skyrocketing property taxpayers and the 2011 middle class tax cut that reduced income tax rates to the lowest levels in more than half a century.
“This plan is aimed at restoring the strength of those in the middle-class who are the backbone of our state.  By expanding the tax relief residents can access, we will provide much needed help for these families who are facing increases in federal taxes.  The goal of this plan is to help hard-working New Yorkers keep and spend more of the money they earn because they have a right to spend it how they see fit.  And that will benefit our entire state in the long term,” added Senator Flanagan.

To read more about this plan, please click here.