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From the Desk of Senator Kemp Hannon: March 29, 2013

2013 Family Tax Relief Act

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.