State budget sweetens school tax rebate

For a homeowner who pays $7,000 in school taxes and saw a 2 percent increase that amounted to $140, that $140 would be refunded. (4/7/14)

JERICHO - Many Long Islanders fed up with sky-high school taxes will soon get a break in the form of a tax rebate, courtesy of the state budget deal.

Under Gov. Andrew Cuomo's plan, homeowners would get a refund for any increase in their school taxes, as long as that increase didn't surpass the state's roughly 2 percent tax cap. Legislators were able to sweeten the deal by taking it a step further and giving many homeowners a cut in their school taxes instead of just a freeze.

For a homeowner who pays $7,000 in school taxes and saw a 2 percent increase that amounted to $140, that $140 would be refunded. However, even if a homeowner's taxes went up less than 2 percent, they would still get the full 2 percent refund.

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State Sen. Jack Martins says the enhanced rebate was part of last-minute budget negotiations. "Whether it's $120, whether it's $1 or whether it's $1,000, it's the people's money," Martins says. "They deserve it and we made efforts to make sure they get it."

In Jericho, it amounts to a double-dose of good news. The district's proposed budget calls for no tax increase, and homeowners will still get the rebate check from the state.

This year, the rebates will only apply to school taxes, but next year, they will include village, town and county taxes as well.

The rebate checks are expected to be sent out in the fall.

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