Re: Property Tax Relief for Middle Class Families
Date: January 14, 2015
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today presented the first piece of his "2015 Opportunity Agenda" – a $1.66 billion property tax credit program that gives relief to homeowners and renters who need it most.
Over the last few decades, property taxes in New York have risen to historic levels. The question for families across the Empire State was no longer whether they could afford to buy a home – once a symbol of attaining the American dream – but whether they could afford to pay the property taxes on that home.
To restore economic opportunity statewide, we must continue to provide real tax relief for middle and lower income families struggling under the crushing weight of property taxes.
Building on the success of the Governor’s property tax cap and property tax freeze initiatives, the new proposal will provide significant relief to homeowners with the greatest need by creating a Real Property Tax Credit for households whose tax property tax burden exceeds six percent of their income.
Taxpayers with incomes below $250,000 would qualify for this credit, and the credit is valued at up to 50 percent of the amount by which property taxes exceed the six percent burden threshold. The specific amount of the credit within that 50 percent is determined on a progressive income scale, so that New Yorkers with the highest tax burdens and lowest income levels will receive the greatest amount of relief.
When fully phased-in, more than 1.3 million State taxpayers will receive an average credit of $950. Outside of New York City, only the taxes levied by a tax cap-compliant jurisdiction are included in the credit calculation. The total taxpayer benefit from this new proposal will reach as high as $1.66 billion on an annual basis once the credit is fully phased-in in year four.
A regional breakdown showing the number of homeowners expected to benefit and the amount of anticipated relief, as well as a breakdown of the progressive income scale that determines the specific credit amount, are available below:
Other Downstate Suburbs
Maximum Relief Amount
Less than $75,000
$75,000 - $150,000
40% - 50%
$1,500 - $2,000
15% - 40%
$1,000 - $1,500
The 2011 statewide property tax cap has been extraordinarily effective at lowering the tax burden for homeowners across the state. Through the first three years of the cap, the average property tax payer will have saved more than $800 compared to if taxes had continued to grow at the previous average rate of growth. Those savings will increase to $2,100 in local property taxes by 2017 if this trend continues.
The Property Tax Freeze, which was enacted last year, provides direct relief to New York homeowners. Over three years, the program will result in more than $1.5 billion in direct property tax relief, and the average New Yorker will receive approximately $656. The freeze also addresses one of the primary drivers of the State’s high property taxes by incentivizing local governments and school districts to seek efficiencies and share services.