Coronavirus cases are still on the rise in several parts of the U.S., but there are no signs yet of another stimulus check. Many in New York, however, could get a cash boost of almost $1,000 if a new proposal from Governor Kathy Hochul is approved. This New York coronavirus stimulus check will actually be a property tax rebate and thus, will only benefit homeowners.
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The New York Governor revealed her plans for a New York coronavirus stimulus check to homeowners in her budget proposal on January 18, her first since taking office in 2021. Hochul wants to use about $2.2 billion from the state’s projected surplus of $5 billion to give a property tax rebate to homeowners who earn up to $250,000 a year.
This property tax relief would be called the Homeowner Tax Rebate Credit, and would be available to low- and middle-income families. It would only be available to the property-tax-paying households.
More than 2 million households in New York are expected to benefit from this rebate program. The average STAR benefit is about $762. So, the new checks could bring eligible homeowners as much as 127% more compared to what they already get under the program.
If approved, the homeowners owning property outside of New York City will get an average stimulus check of $970. The check amount could be significantly more for those in high-tax school districts in the Hudson Valley.
When To Expect The Funds
Hochul’s rebate to homeowners will be an advance credit, something similar to the coronavirus stimulus checks. This means, eligible homeowners will get the funds sooner as they won’t have to wait to claim it when filing their tax return next year. Once approved, the program is expected to start in the fall, and the rebate will be sent directly to households.
Hochul is referring to this program as a one-year extension of the Property Tax Relief Credit Program, which expired after 2019. The rebate will be distributed through the state’s STAR property tax relief program, which pays part of school taxes for eligible homeowners. According to Hochul’s proposal, the rebate would be a certain percentage of the homeowners' existing STAR benefit.
Though Hochul is referring to the program as a “middle-class” initiative, it sets a family income limit of $500,000. As per the U.S. Census, the median household income in New York is $69,000. Moreover, the STAR property tax relief program is one of the few programs that benefits homeowners in wealthy downstate suburban communities, including Long Island and Hudson Valley.
This property tax rebate is the most popular part of Hochul’s budget. The budget also accelerates the income tax cuts, which started in 2018 under Gov. Andrew Cuomo. These income-tax cuts have to be phased in over seven years.