You might want to check your mailbox for money from Albany. State tax officials have started sending out property tax rebate checks.
There has been some give and take over the early property tax rebate checks, some calling it a gimmick to make incumbent state lawmakers and the governor look good.
They, of course, are denying it.
But it is a fact, those checks are going in the mail, and if you are a homeowner, you should be getting yours very soon.
The rebate checks are basically an advance on the STAR exemption on your school property tax bill.
For those who pay their school taxes directly, it will help pay the bill. For those who pay their property taxes with their mortgage, it is money in your pocket.
The STAR exemption depends on how much your school taxes are, and the amount of the rebate check will depend on your income.
While all homeowners whose income is less than $500,000 a year are eligible for the STAR program, families making $275,000 or less get a percentage of their STAR in a rebate check, and it goes like this.
If your household income is $75,000 or less you rebate check will be 60 % of your STAR savings, or $600 if your STAR exemption is $1,000.
For those making up to $150,000, the credit would be 42.5 %. or $450 and the credit decreases to 7.5% for those households earning between 200 and $275,000 a year.
Checks for most New York homeowners are going out now, with the few exceptions in the downstate region of New York City and Long Island.
Critics of the early STAR rebate checks include Cynthia Nixon who is challenging Governor Cuomo in next week’s primary election calling it a gimmick.
State tax officials say it is just a case of practice makes perfect.
They have been sending out rebate checks for three years now, and state lawmakers have streamlined the number of programs that involve direct payment checks to New Yorkers.