Nearly 200,000 New York State residents are waiting to receive their property tax rebate checks. Newsday TV's Steve Langford reports.  Credit: Kendall Rodriguez and John Roca

ALBANY — As many as 200,000 New Yorkers are still waiting for their Homeowner Tax Relief checks, which the state began mailing in June under an expedited plan to combat inflation and help New Yorkers recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, state officials said Friday

State officials say the remaining property owners will get their checks before the end of the year.

The checks average $823 and range from a few hundred dollars for homeowners with a household income of as much as $250,000 to checks of more than $1,000 for households with an income less than $75,000.

In all, 2.5 million taxpayers will receive a total of $2.2 billion. So far about $1.7 billion has been sent to qualified taxpayers, according to the state Taxation and Finance Department.

“The vast majority of those checks have already been delivered and the remaining checks will continue to be mailed in the coming weeks,” said James Gazzale, spokesman for the tax department.

He said the state said some of the checks haven't gone out yet because it is waiting for school tax bill data from some school districts, which it expects to receive later this month or in early September.

Gov. Kathy Hochul had made a point in April that the checks were to be expedited so New Yorkers could get the relief from both rising inflation and the economic impact of the pandemic. Most of the checks were mailed in June, although state officials acknowledged in July that some would need to await tax information from school districts.

The state tax department’s website said a taxpayer can expect the check between the time they receive a school tax bill, usually in the spring; and before payment is due, usually in the fall.

Joseph Cipp, 74, and his wife, Laura, of Brookhaven, have been waiting for their check since June. Joseph Cipp started writing letters to state officials in Albany in July, then he started making phone calls to their supervisors and to Hochul. He watched as his neighbors received their checks and he didn’t.

“Hochul said everything would be in the mail in June,” Cipp told Newsday. “Every day, we ran out to the mailbox. ‘Did we get it?’ And we didn’t get it.”

The retired Bellport teacher and coach knows how schools operate and he doesn’t buy the idea that the delay in his check is because the state lacks some tax information from school districts. He said his calls and letters to Albany so far haven’t helped, even though town officials told him all his tax records were in order. He said he couldn’t even determine if the check had been stolen or lost.

“They told me a bunch of reasons,” he said. “This is terrible. … I came close to saying, ‘Forget it,’ but it’s not just a hundred dollars or so. It’s significant. We’re old and we could use it in this day and age.”

Gazzale said officials are looking into Cipp’s case.

The state doesn’t have a way for taxpayers to see if their check has already been sent or is on the way. A taxpayer can look up the amount of their check on a state portal at https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/htrc/lookup.htm on the state’s tax department’s website. The portal provides the amount of the check based on the county, city or town, school district and range of income.

The checks, part of the state budget adopted in April, are a one-time benefit for homeowners, who don’t need to apply or provide any information to get the benefit. The checks are in addition to the traditional STAR property tax breaks.

For tax purposes, homeowners who don’t itemize their tax returns don’t need to add the check’s amount to their state tax return. Homeowners who itemize must reduce their itemized deduction for real estate taxes paid by the total amount of the Homeowners Tax Rebate and the STAR credit or deduction. The state urges taxpayers to save their check stubs.

ALBANY — As many as 200,000 New Yorkers are still waiting for their Homeowner Tax Relief checks, which the state began mailing in June under an expedited plan to combat inflation and help New Yorkers recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, state officials said Friday

State officials say the remaining property owners will get their checks before the end of the year.

The checks average $823 and range from a few hundred dollars for homeowners with a household income of as much as $250,000 to checks of more than $1,000 for households with an income less than $75,000.

In all, 2.5 million taxpayers will receive a total of $2.2 billion. So far about $1.7 billion has been sent to qualified taxpayers, according to the state Taxation and Finance Department.

“The vast majority of those checks have already been delivered and the remaining checks will continue to be mailed in the coming weeks,” said James Gazzale, spokesman for the tax department.

He said the state said some of the checks haven't gone out yet because it is waiting for school tax bill data from some school districts, which it expects to receive later this month or in early September.

Gov. Kathy Hochul had made a point in April that the checks were to be expedited so New Yorkers could get the relief from both rising inflation and the economic impact of the pandemic. Most of the checks were mailed in June, although state officials acknowledged in July that some would need to await tax information from school districts.

The state tax department’s website said a taxpayer can expect the check between the time they receive a school tax bill, usually in the spring; and before payment is due, usually in the fall.

Joseph Cipp, 74, and his wife, Laura, of Brookhaven, have been waiting for their check since June. Joseph Cipp started writing letters to state officials in Albany in July, then he started making phone calls to their supervisors and to Hochul. He watched as his neighbors received their checks and he didn’t.

“Hochul said everything would be in the mail in June,” Cipp told Newsday. “Every day, we ran out to the mailbox. ‘Did we get it?’ And we didn’t get it.”

The retired Bellport teacher and coach knows how schools operate and he doesn’t buy the idea that the delay in his check is because the state lacks some tax information from school districts. He said his calls and letters to Albany so far haven’t helped, even though town officials told him all his tax records were in order. He said he couldn’t even determine if the check had been stolen or lost.

“They told me a bunch of reasons,” he said. “This is terrible. … I came close to saying, ‘Forget it,’ but it’s not just a hundred dollars or so. It’s significant. We’re old and we could use it in this day and age.”

Gazzale said officials are looking into Cipp’s case.

The state doesn’t have a way for taxpayers to see if their check has already been sent or is on the way. A taxpayer can look up the amount of their check on a state portal at https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/htrc/lookup.htm on the state’s tax department’s website. The portal provides the amount of the check based on the county, city or town, school district and range of income.

The checks, part of the state budget adopted in April, are a one-time benefit for homeowners, who don’t need to apply or provide any information to get the benefit. The checks are in addition to the traditional STAR property tax breaks.

For tax purposes, homeowners who don’t itemize their tax returns don’t need to add the check’s amount to their state tax return. Homeowners who itemize must reduce their itemized deduction for real estate taxes paid by the total amount of the Homeowners Tax Rebate and the STAR credit or deduction. The state urges taxpayers to save their check stubs.

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