Two million New Yorkers may soon receive a property tax rebate check if governor Kathy Hochul’s newly proposed law passes. Hochul wants to designate over $2 billion for tax rebate checks. Low and middle-income families would receive a $970 check if the new governor gets her wish.
Hochul debuted her plan during her budget proposal meeting recently. She called for a $216.3 billion New York State budget — a 3.1 percent spending increase over last year’s budget. Increased school funding is another aspect of Hochul’s budget expansion plan.
She calls the property tax relief payments the Homeowner Tax Rebate Credit. Both seniors and New York City homeowners would be eligible for the credit if implemented.
A similar program expired in 2019 called the Property Tax Relief Credit Program. Hochul effectively wants to extend it another year.
How Governor Hochul’s plan would be administered
The benefit would work directly in correlation with the state’s STAR benefit program, according to the proposal. New York State’s STAR property tax relief program subsidizes certain property owners’ school taxes. This means that the checks administered by the new program would be on a sliding scale, but Hochul’s administration projects an average of $970 per eligible homeowner.
Allocated through STAR, the program would only pay households making up to $250,000 per year in income. More than two million households would receive benefits.
In New York City, based on their current taxes, eligible residents can expect an average payment of $425. Nearly a quarter of total enrollment — an estimated 475,000 households out of two million total — would reside in the city.
Homeowners with an income less than $75,000 could receive up to $1,050 through the program, which would be paid as an advanced credit. This means that homeowners would not have to wait until tax season to claim a write-off; instead, they could receive the funds up front, similar to the increased child tax credits during pandemic relief.
Hochul said she wants to begin the program in the fall of 2022 if possible, with checks being “sent directly” to households before year’s end. Only households that currently pay property taxes can receive the advanced credit. Hochul wants to cut taxes for middle-class New Yorkers as well.
The new governor, elected in 2021, also wants to credit small businesses for Covid-related expenses, as well as lower their taxes across the board.
Another credit that the federal government could extend
The federal government administered child tax credits during pandemic relief from July to December of 2021. Each payment included $300 per child under the age of six; and $250 for children ages six to seventeen. Reports suggest that the Biden administration may try to extend this benefit as part of a larger bill. But their Build Back Better bill got stalled in the Senate, leaving parents wondering if they will ever see that benefit again.