ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday promoted his plan in which many Long Island homeowners would see an average annual savings of $1,186 over four years by using state funds to subsidize high local property taxes, state officials said.
Cuomo announced the property tax relief proposal to the Legislature in January. The proposal is in Cuomo’s “Opportunity Agenda,” parts of which are in his 2015-16 budget proposal due April 1.
Cuomo said 332,417 Long Island homeowners are among 1.3 million homeowners statewide who would benefit from the program as it is phases in through 2017.
“This program addresses one of the most important challenges we face as a state — making New York affordable by providing real, meaningful, significant tax relief that will make a difference in people’s lives,” Cuomo said in a statement.
But the break isn’t available to businesses or apartment building owners and fails to restrain the growth in some of the nation’s highest property taxes, said E.J. McMahon, president of the Empire Center for Public Policy, a fiscally conservative research group. He said New York’s high property taxes are driven by spending, and Cuomo’s proposal doesn’t curb that or reduce state mandates that could reduce local costs.
Cuomo said 207,250 homeowners in Nassau County would receive $250.5 million in state subsidies for an average savings of $1,208 a year. In Suffolk County, 125,167 homeowners will benefit from $143.7 million in state funds applied toward local property taxes for an average break of $1,148.
Households with incomes below $250,000 a year with property taxes that are more than 7 percent of their income qualify for the break. The credit is up to half of the amount of tax over that 6 percent threshold. The complex formula aims to most benefit New Yorkers with the highest tax burdens and lowest income levels.