New York Senate Approves Bill To Extend STAR Rebates
Under the provisions of the bill, beginning in the 2012-13 school year, senior citizens would receive a rebate check in an amount that equals 25 percent of the current STAR exemption benefit. The benefit would increase to 35 percent of the STAR exemption starting in the 2013-14 school year. Total property tax relief for seniors next school year would be $202 million.
Basic STAR rebate checks for middle class families would be restored beginning in the 2013-14 school year. The amount of the rebate checks would be determined by income and the local school district tax rate. Total property tax relief would be $1.2 billion. The income brackets would be as follows:
For Upstate New York counties: $0 to $90,000 income - 60 percent of the STAR exemption; $90,001 to $150,000 income - 45 percent; $150,001 to $250,000 income - 30 percent
The Basic STAR rebate check percentages would remain the same in the 2014-15 school year, but would increase in each of the next two years to 70 percent, 52.5 percent and 35 percent in 2015-16 and to 80 percent, 60 percent and 40 percent in 2016-17.
In any year when there is no appropriation for the rebate checks, senior citizens and middle class taxpayers would be able to claim a property tax credit, equivalent to their rebate check, against their personal income taxes.
The Senate also passed legislation to simplify the process for senior citizens and other qualifying homeowners to apply for and receive their STAR property tax exemption.
The bill eliminates the requirement that senior citizens reapply for the STAR property tax exemption every year.