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District Complies with 2018 Property Tax Cap, Residents to Receive Property Relief Credit Checks

The Mount Vernon City School District recently announced that area residents may be eligible to receive property tax credits. The credit is a result of the District’s successful compliance with the 2018 New York State property tax cap.

The Property Tax Relief Credit, which replaced the Property Tax Freeze Credit, is a program that provides additional relief to taxpayers who are already receiving the Basic/Enhanced STAR, or School Tax Assessment Relief, Exemption or Credit. Therefore, taxpayers can receive this credit from the state in addition to their STAR Exemption. Under STAR, homeowners see a reduction in the assessed value of their homes, which is used to calculate their school taxes.

“Eligible Mount Vernon residents should automatically receive their checks by mail,” said Mount Vernon City School District Superintendent Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton. “This credit is a result of our diligence to be fiscally responsible stewards with taxpayer dollars.”

Introduced in 2016, the multi-phase program directly reduces the property tax burden for qualifying homeowners in New York State. The following criteria must be met by individuals in order to receive checks under the program:

  • Live in a school district that complies with the New York State property tax cap,
  • Receive either the Basic or Enhanced STAR exemption or credit,
  • Have an income of $270,000 or less, and
  • Have paid school property taxes in 2018.

Homeowners who qualify for the credit will receive checks by mail directly from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. The checks, which can be upwards of hundreds of dollars, are expected to be delivered to homes by October.

“We are very happy with the District and the Board of Education trustees’ demonstration of fiscal responsibility,” said John Gallagher, president of Mount Vernon’s Concerned Property Owners association. “Our organization is focused on ensuring the best educational outcomes for kids at the lowest cost to taxpayers. Over the past few years, Mount Vernon has successfully implemented a vision to fix the schools academically and fiscally, leading to an increased graduation rate, a reduction in the number of drop outs, and a decrease in the number of ‘Bright Flight’ students leaving the District to attend private or charter schools.”

“Dr. Hamilton and his administration have successfully followed Governor Cuomo’s direction to stay under the state tax cap and provide Mount Vernon residents with Property Tax Relief Credits. These checks help offset – or even cover entirely – the 0.89 percent tax increase homeowners were required to pay,” he added. “We have a high population of senior citizens who have received rebate checks that they can definitely use. Through this program, seniors didn’t have to skip meals or forego medicine in order to pay their taxes.”

The amount of the credit individuals receive through the Property Tax Relief Credit program is a percentage of the eligible homeowner’s STAR savings. For those receiving the Basic STAR Exemption or Credit, the percentage is calculated based on the homeowner’s income. For Enhanced STAR recipients, the credit is equal to 26 percent of the Enhanced STAR savings. The homeowner’s income does not impact the amount of Property Tax Relief Credit he or she receives.