Senate Democrats propose tax credit to offset reassessment increases

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A recent proposal from the state Senate would provide a tax credit to qualifying Nassau County residents whose property taxes will rise due to the reassessment.

The eligibility requirements for the program brought forth by Long Island Democrats match the criteria for the STAR program, which limits annual household income to $500,000 in order to qualify.

The plan would work in conjunction with Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s taxpayer protection plan, which spreads property tax increases from the reassessment over a five-year period instead of taxpayers experiencing a large increase in one year.

In the first year of the plan, taxpayers would receive a tax credit that amounts to their full property tax increase from the reassessment with the credit value gradually decreasing over the next six years. The program would provide relief for Nassau taxpayers for a period of seven years.

The last two years of the Reassessment Relief Credit will provide relief after homeowners are fully phased into their full tax amount after the reassessment if the taxpayer protection plan is to pass.

The taxpayer protection plan has been included in the budget proposal of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state Senate, and the Assembly signaling it’s expected passage into law.

Qualifying homeowners would receive a check from the state with their credit value, which the taxpayer would then claim on their income tax return.

Upon passage through the Senate, a local law would need to be authorized by Nassau County to opt into the state program.

The county would provide the state with 25 percent of the program’s cost through sales tax revenue.

“The high cost of property taxes is one of the biggest challenges facing Nassau County families right now, and I have heard from so many of my constituents, particularly those on a fixed income, that the impact of another tax increase could be absolutely devastating, especially with the federal government’s restrictions on the [state and local tax] deduction,” state Sen. Anna Kaplan (D-Great Neck) said in a statement.

To be enacted the law would need to be included with the budget adopted by the state Senate, Assembly and Cuomo on April 1.

There have been some reservations out of the state Assembly on the program’s price tag, which is expected to amount to $200 million of state funds.

The county will foot another $70 million towards the plan which proposes the state pay $3 to every dollar spent by the county.

State Assemblyman Chuck Lavine (D-Glen Cove) said in an interview with Blank Slate Media that he has some concerns about state spending in a year when state tax revenues are expected to fall by $2 billion.

Assembly members are reviewing the concept with their chamber’s analysts, economists and counsel, Lavine said. “We want to make sure we are doing everything to protect our taxpayers.”

The proposal is included in the state Senate’s recent budget resolution along with other initiatives that include an increase to school aid, restoring the Aid and Incentives to Municipalities program that provides funding to qualifying towns and villages and additional money allocated towards the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program.

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