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Property-tax-freeze checks are coming

A New York State tax rebate check issued

A New York State tax rebate check issued in September 2014 to families who in 2012 had incomes between $40,000 and $300,000, and claimed at least one dependent child younger than 17. Photo Credit: Newsday

Attention taxpayers: The property-tax-freeze checks from New York State are coming.

An official with the state Department of Taxation and Finance said Monday it was continuing to mail rebates of school property taxes to homeowners in school districts that complied with the state-imposed tax cap. Some residents have already received them.

"Those checks continue to be mailed; we're expecting to mail 2.5 million statewide," said department spokesman Cary B. Ziter. He did not provide more specific information about the timing of the mailings.

To be eligible, taxpayers must qualify for a separate program -- the STAR property-tax exemption -- and live outside New York City. Their household income must have been $500,000 or less last year.

Residents of the Bridgehampton and East Hampton school districts aren't eligible because the districts' tax increases in 2014 exceeded the tax cap.

To calculate the rebate amount under the Property Tax Freeze Credit program, taxpayers can multiply their 2013 school tax bill by the inflation rate of 1.5 percent, or .015. In general, the savings equal the increase in school taxes paid by homeowners.

The rebate is only on the taxpayer's primary residence, not a vacation place or second home.

Ziter said the program would cost state government $1.5 billion over three years, with $594 million sent to residents of Nassau and Suffolk counties. The average amount over three years is $656 statewide and $1,042 on Long Island.

Separately, the tax department sent checks in September and October to families who in 2012 had incomes between $40,000 and $300,000, and claimed at least one dependent child under age 17.

Checks under the Family Tax Relief Credit were $350 each, regardless of how many children were in a family.

The two rebate programs were approved by the State Legislature and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in March as part of the 2014-15 state budget.

To check your eligibility and when your rebate will arrive:

FAMILY TAX RELIEF CREDIT
($350 check for families with at least one dependent child under age 17 in 2012)

Go to http://on.ny.gov/1uKrXJT or call 518-485-1057

PROPERTY TAX FREEZE CREDIT
(A rebate of the 2014 increase in school property taxes if the school district complied with a state-imposed tax cap.)

Go to http://on.ny.gov/WTkMnf or call 518-453-8146

Source: NYS Department of Taxation and Finance

CLARIFICATION: Earlier versions of this story had an incorrect telephone number, which was provided by the state tax department, for the property tax freeze credit.

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