Governor’s New Tax Plan
February 28, 2014
ALBANY, NY – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has launched the “No Excuses” campaign to cut property taxes.
“High property taxes have been the number one burden on New York’s families and businesses. Right after I took office we capped property taxes to stop skyrocketing hikes that were driving people from this state. Now we need to lower property taxes and we need your help to do it,” said Governor Cuomo. “Every year, passing our agenda has depended on New Yorkers getting involved, picking up the phone and making their voices heard. Today we are encouraging all New Yorkers who are tired of paying too much in property taxes to join our effort to lower property taxes this year.’
The governor also notes that on his new website, CutPropertyTaxes.ny.gov, voters can encourage their state lawmakers to go along with the plan.
According to Governor Cuomo, his tax cutting proposal will:
Freeze Property Taxes for Working Families: To address the untenable property taxes in New York and incentivize local governments to share services, the Governor proposed to freeze property taxes for two years, providing nearly $1 billion in tax relief in 2015-16. Residents will be eligible for the freeze in the first year if their local governments stay within the property tax cap. During the second year, local governments must also take concrete steps to share services and reduce costs in order to remain under the freeze. The Executive Budget freezes property taxes for two years, subject to two conditions. In year one (2014-15), the State will provide tax rebates to homeowners with qualifying incomes of $500,000 or less who live in a jurisdiction that stays within the 2 percent property tax cap. In order for their homeowners to get the tax credit in the second year, school districts and local governments must continue to stay within the tax cap and must develop a plan for sharing or consolidating services and eliminating duplication and overlap that generates savings equal to three percent of tax levy within the subsequent three years. When these plans are fully implemented, local governments and school districts could provide property tax relief of up to $1 billion. The freeze will generate an average tax benefit of $354 for 2.8 million beneficiaries when fully implemented. New York City residents are not eligible for the Freeze Credit because New York City is not subject to the property tax cap.
Create a Property Tax “Circuit Breaker” Based on Ability to Pay: Two million low- and middle-income taxpayers pay an effective real property tax rate relative to income that exceeds their income tax rate. To help these families and individuals, the Governor proposed providing tax relief based on ability to pay for households that earn up to $200,000, ultimately providing $1 billion in tax relief by the time the circuit breaker is fully phased in. The Budget creates a progressively distributed refundable tax credit against the personal income tax to provide targeted real property tax relief based on an individual homeowner’s ability to pay. When fully phased in, the program, valued at almost $1 billion, will benefit two million homeowners yielding an average benefit of $500.