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Property tax freeze credit

The property tax freeze credit is a new two-year tax relief program that reimburses qualifying New York State homeowners for increases in local property taxes on their primary residences.

Eligibility requirements for 2014

To receive the credit in 2014, homeowners must meet the following eligibility requirements:

Receive the STAR property tax exemption.

- The property must be the homeowner's primary residence.

- The total household income must be $500,000 or less.

The school district where the homeowner's property is located must comply with the New York State Property Tax Cap. Find out if your school district complied with the tax cap this year on our tax cap compliance page.

How to get the credit

In the Fall of 2014, the Tax Department will automatically mail checks to eligible homeowners. Eligible homeowners do not need to do anything to receive the credit. The Tax Department will review eligibility data and calculate the credit.

Homeowners who do not receive a check and who believe they are entitled to the credit (or who believe their credit was incorrectly calculated) will be able to contact the Tax Department to have their case reviewed.

Credit amounts

As a general rule, the freeze credit will fully reimburse eligible homeowners for increases to their property taxes. The freeze credit will be the greater of:

the actual increase in the homeowner's tax bill, or

the previous year's tax bill multiplied by an inflation factor (the lesser of 2% or inflation). For 2014, the inflation factor for school districts is 1.46%.

Homeowners whose tax bills go down, stay the same, or increase less than the inflation factor will receive a credit equal to the previous year's tax bill multiplied by the inflation factor.

Exceptions

There are some exceptions. The credit will not reimburse homeowners for increases that are the result of:

improvements to the property that increase its value,

changes in a property's exemption status, or

a jurisdiction-wide reassessment to the extent the increase in the property's assessed value exceeds the average change in assessed value.

Co-ops and mobile homes

The credit for co-ops and mobile homes that are not separately assessed will be calculated as follows:

Co-op owners: the credit will be 60% of the average credit for the jurisdiction.

Mobile home owners: the credit will be 25% of the average credit for the jurisdiction.

Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers

Different rules apply in Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Yonkers. These cities impose a single levy that includes both city and school district taxes. For purpose of the freeze credit, 67% of the tax is attributable to school tax and 33% attributable to city tax. In 2014, the credit will be equal to that part of the property tax increase attributable to school tax (67%).

New York City

New York City is not subject to the tax cap. For this reason, city residents are not eligible for this credit. New York City homeowners and renters may, however, be eligible for the New York City Circuit Breaker Tax Credit.

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