There are many important provisions in this year’s state budget, including record funding for our schools, our environment and our health care system (What’s Inside the State Budget, April 16). I want to highlight a budget provision that has not gotten much attention: the property tax circuit breaker, totaling $382 million and helping more than 1 million middle-class families.
As chair of the Real Property Taxation Committee in the Assembly, I know that too many families are struggling to keep up with rising property taxes. While we have programs like STAR and the property tax cap, they do not go far enough to provide relief. That is why, beginning in 2006, I introduced a property tax circuit breaker to relieve our tax burden. After 15 long years I can finally say: This program is now law.
The credit will be available when you file your 2021 taxes next year. Qualifying individuals must reside at their address for at least six months in the current tax year, be enrolled in or eligible for the STAR program, spend more than 6 percent of their income on property taxes and earn less than $250,000 annually. Credits will be up to 14 percent of the remaining property tax obligation, depending on income. Credits will be between $250 and $350. As this program is implemented the state Tax Department will provide more information.
While this is a far cry from enough, it is a beginning. I am proud to have fought for this property tax relief and I know we can enhance the program in the coming years.
Sandy Galef, Albany
Galef’s district includes Philipstown.