Letter: We Need Property-Tax Relief for Middle Income

We have a real opportunity in this year’s state budget to adopt a new tax relief program to help those who pay too much of their household income for property taxes. If you believe that this could impact you and your family, I hope that you will be the strongest advocate for its adoption within the next two weeks. Gov. Cuomo introduced this program in his proposed budget as the Property Tax Credit Program which was also included in the Assembly budget.

I introduced the same concept many years ago with Sen. Betty Little called the Circuit Breaker Program. The concepts are similar. I believe that this approach would help many New Yorkers who pay more than 6 percent of their household income for property taxes and have a total adjusted gross income of less than $250,000. As owners of homes, condos or co-ops, you would be entitled to an income tax credit on a sliding scale for property taxes you pay above the 6 percent level.

On average, owners of property will receive a tax credit of between $781 and $1,500. That tax credit would help approximately 1.3 million middle income households in New York. Those who do not owe taxes at tax time would get a reimbursement for their outlay from the Tax Department.

This program offers middle class taxpayers a fair and balanced approach to property tax relief based on need and income. This really targets those who are struggling the most with their high property taxes and have less income to pay them.

I thank the governor and the New York State Assembly for being such strong advocates for this program, but be aware that during budget negotiations this important new tax relief program could fall through the cracks. If you support the Circuit Breaker call your New York State Senate representative now to push for this tax relief program in the 2015–16 State Budget. This tax credit will give tax help to many which will help keep families in their homes.

Sandy Galef
NYS Assemblywoman, 95th AD

3 thoughts on “Letter: We Need Property-Tax Relief for Middle Income

  1. Sandy, you are our member in the Assembly, and we fully support your efforts, in the past and now. However, we feel that the property tax, like the sales tax, is the most unfair to those least able to afford them. One should be taxed on one’s ability to pay; that is, based on one’s income. To those who say the rich will just leave the state, I ask what have property owners been doing for decades? The primary reason given: property taxes.

  2. I live in Continental Village in the Lakeland School District. My school tax increase was 7.1% this year. That is a $700 increase to me. I appreciate Ms. Galef’s efforts, but at the rate our school taxes are rising in this area a $1,500 tax credit would not solve our problem. Our school taxes increase from 4% to 7% each year. As a senior citizen, our Social Security increase was 1%, making living here unsustainable.

    My children and grandchildren live here and I do not want to move, but moving to an area where the tax is $2,000 compared to $13,000 is attractive. I have been paying school taxes for 50 years, I believe seniors in the so-called “middle-income bracket” should pay town and county taxes but not school taxes. Enough is enough.

  3. It sounds like another gimmick, like the STAR Program or what happened this year when the town stayed under the 2% cap but the school district increased our taxes more than 7% and we get reimbursed for the difference of this year and last year. But this is just a temporary fix. A politician can do away with the STAR Program at any time. Why not find another way to permanently fund schools other than by taxing homeowners? The formula the state uses to increase taxes within Philipstown with three school districts is unfair to the Lakeland School District residents. This needs to change. We pay three times the amount that residents of the Garrison School district pay yet our home prices are so modest at around $300,000 and our formula is based on the $7 million sales in the Garrison District. Where is the fairness in that?