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From the Desk of Senator Kemp Hannon: March 22, 2013

I’m pleased to announce a package of tax relief and reform measures to give an economic boost to New York taxpayers. The current proposal is in line with my previous efforts to provide Nassau taxpayers with meaningful relief during these difficult economic times.

The 2013 Family Tax Relief Act would provide a major economic boost to New York’s middle class families, and seeks to restore the STAR Rebate Check Program to provide real and direct relief to millions of New Yorkers who pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation.

Having already been successful in lowering the State’s income tax rates and repealing the MTA Payroll Tax, I went to work on a plan to provide taxpayers with more tax relief by increasing tax breaks and restoring the STAR rebate check program.

The tax breaks, in some instances, have not been adjusted for over 25 years.  The time to adjust is now, since New Yorkers, particularly heavily-taxed Long Islanders, are in need of tax relief as costs continue to rise.

The 2013 Family Tax Relief Act would also restore the STAR property tax rebate check program to provide real and direct relief to millions of New Yorkers who pay some of the highest property taxes in the country.  (The STAR rebate checks are separate from the STAR or Enhanced STAR exemptions which many residents already receive. These rebates, were eliminated in 2009, when the Senate was controlled by Democrats, and which were eliminated over my strenuous objections).

The Senate plan would: more than double the value of the Dependent Exemption; increase the Child Tax Credit and provide an additional $500 child tax credit; increase the value of the Dependent Care Credit; and restore STAR property tax rebates.

The Family Tax Relief Act includes the following:

Increase Dependent Exemption

• Increase the Dependent Exemption from $1,000 to $2,020 per dependent;

• Allow a subtraction from gross income for each dependent the taxpayer claims;

• Dependent Exemption was last increased in 1987.

Increase Dependent Care Credit

 • The Dependent Care Credit, which is a percentage of the federal credit, allows taxpayers a tax credit for the expenses incurred for the care of a child;

• Dependent Care Credit last increased in 1999;

• The plan will increase the percentage range of the federal child care credit that parents can receive, from 20 percent to 110 percent (depending on income), to 27 percent to 150 percent of the federal child care credit.

Increase Child Tax Credit

 • Increase the maximum Child Tax Credit from $330 to $375 to adjust for inflation;

• Child Tax Credit last amended in 2006;

• The plan increases the Child Tax Credit from 33 percent of the federal child tax credit to 37.5 percent;

• In New York State,  married-joint filers with income less than $130,000 (federal), who have a child that is between the ages of 4 and 16, can receive the credit;

• Provide an additional $500 Child Tax Credit per family.

Restore STAR Property Tax Rebate Checks

 • Restore STAR Rebate Check Program to provide an estimated additional $1.3 billion in tax relief;

• This will provide real and direct relief to millions of people across the state, including seniors and middle class families.

Restoring STAR Rebate Checks would provide an additional total of approximately $1.3 billion in tax relief.  For Nassau County residents with  incomes up to $120,000, the average STAR Rebate Check would be $685, and everyone with an income up to $250,000 would receive an average check for $343.  The average enhanced STAR rebate check for Nassau County seniors would be $725.

These proposals would build on my record of providing tax relief to middle class families, especially through the historic property tax cap which finally put the brakes on skyrocketing property taxes, and the 2011 middle class tax cut that reduced income tax rates to the lowest levels in more than half a century.

News

The Senior Advisory Committee is the Senior group that helps plan trips, parties, and programs for all seniors in cooperation with the recreation and parks department. It consists of: Kathy Auro, Richard Bankowsky, Evelyn Iagrossi, Joe Leto, Ellen Moynahan, and Gloria Weinrich. Please feel free to suggest trips to anyone on the committee.

Preparedness is the best remedy for Ebola

Winthrop University Hospital hosted a presentation on the current Ebola epidemic, at the Garden City Library, on Tuesday, Nov. 11. Sponsored by the village’s Property Owners’ Associations, John F. Collins, president and CEO of Winthrop University Hospital and Dr. Michael Ammazzalorso, Winthrop’s Chief Medical Officer provided an overview of the disease along with an update on Winthrop’s preparedness plan.

Dr. Ammazzalorso began his presentation heeding that despite the waning in the press, the disease is still with us. He provided both historical and current day perspectives regarding the epidemic, advising that Ebola is not a new disease. The medical community has been aware of the disease for at least 40 years. Originating in the Congo, Ebola is a zoonosis a disease which has its reservoir in animals and was known for small sporadic outbreaks associated with people who handled bats and rodents or those who consumed bush meat. The current outbreak originated in West Africa, specifically Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. He noted in Africa that more than 45,000 people have died from the disease.


Sports

Learn And Play Paddle Tennis

The recreation and parks department will offer beginner level platform tennis lessons at Community Park’s Platform Courts. This five-week course will offer the basic instruction and will be taught by certified platform instructor Sue Tarzian. Each class will be 1.5 hours in length. The cost of this program is $187.50. Classes began the week of Nov. 5. The following classes will be offered:

Beginners - Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Advanced Beginners – Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

This program is for beginners only and participants must be Garden City residents. To register, visit the recreation office at 108 Rockaway Ave.

Learn And Play Paddle Tennis

The recreation and parks department will offer beginner level platform tennis lessons at Community Park’s Platform Courts. This five-week course will offer the basic instruction and will be taught by certified platform instructor Sue Tarzian. Each class will be 1.5 hours in length. The cost of this program is $187.50. Classes begin the week of Nov. 5. The following classes will be offered:

Beginners - Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Advanced Beginners – Thursdays at 10:30 a.m.

This program is for beginners only and participants must be Garden City residents. To register, please visit the recreation office at 108 Rockaway Ave. Space is limited so please register early.


Calendar

Sultans of String to play

Friday, November 21

Garden City Chamber Music Society Performance

Sunday, November 23

Marvelous Movie Matinée

Monday, November 24



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com