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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

April 19 fundraiser to be

held for baby with rare disease

Tom Onorato, the nephew and office manager of Dr. Joseph Onorato Garden City practice All Island Dermatology Plastic Surgery & Laser Center, recently celebrated the birth of a baby boy with his wife Melissa. Both were thrilled when Thomas Kevin Onorato came into the world on September 10, 2013. Despite being born five weeks early, baby Thomas managed to surprise his parents with his indomitable spirit and was sent home with a clean bill of health. A mere four days later began the fight for Thomas’ life.

Stewart Manor budget, mayor’s salary increase

At a time when municipalities are grappling with keeping expenditures down, the Village of Stewart Manor saw not only its 2014-15 operating budget increase, but its mayor’s salary. At a meeting of the board of trustees held on Monday, April, 8, Stewart Manor adopted a budget of $2,418,548.03, a 1.4 percent increase over the previous year. In addition, the board approved a raise of $1,000 for Mayor Gerard Tangredi, bringing his salary to $3,000. The salaries for trustees John Egan, M. Carole Schafenberg, and William Grogan are set at $2,000 each. Deputy Mayor Michael Onorato has declined his stipend.

Salaries and benefits make up 42 percent of the total budget. According to the state comptroller, it’s acceptable for that number to be as high as 65 percent. The total costs of salaries and benefits have actually decreased by around 5 percent from the previous year’s adopted budget.  


Sports

Easter Egg Hunt For Pre-K To Grade 5

The Garden City Recreation Department is once again sponsoring the annual Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 19 at Community Park’s fields. This Year Three hunt will be held at 10 a.m. sharp with three age divisions: preschool to kindergarten, grades 1 and 2; and grades 3 to 5.

Special eggs will be stuffed and hidden for all divisions. Each hunt will also feature a grand prize (an Easter basket filled with goodies) which will go to the youngster who finds the egg marked “#1 Lucky Egg.” For further information about the hunt, please call the recreation department at 516-465-4075.

Commitment at Kellenberg

Garden City residents continue to excel while participating in the athletic program over at Uniondale’s Kellenberg Memorial High School.

Each season, coaches of Kellenberg sports pick one player from their squad who has demonstrated remarkable commitment to the team through their hard work at practice and in competition.

The Village of Garden City has a long history of residents who've excelled both on the academic and athletic side of the ledger at Kellenberg. This time around, seniors Kelly O’Donnell (varsity cheerleading), Stacy Madelmayer (varsity girls basketball) and Bryan Salecker (swimming and diving team) have all been awarded the Commitment Award for their outstanding efforts, devotion, hard work and commitment to their respective teams.


Calendar

Dinner & A Movie: In Transition 2.0

Thursday, April 17

School Budget Meeting

Wednesday, April 23

Judi Mark One-woman Show At Library

Thursday, April 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