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State Assembly hopes to tackle property taxes, affordable housing issues with proposed budget

Photo courtesy of Christopher Bride/PropertyShark

The New York State Assembly introduced on Tuesday its 2015-2016 proposed budget, which seeks to fight various social issues, including the affordable housing crisis, homelessness and high property taxes.

Calling it the “Families First” budget, the Democrat-led Assembly proposed a $150.7 billion budget, which targets improvements in education, child care, the minimum wage, and health and human services.

The proposal also contains a property tax “circuit breaker” that will give homeowners relief by basing property taxes on household incomes instead of values of their homes.

If enacted, it would be the first property tax reduction in recent years, according to Assemblywoman Nily Rozic. With values quickly rising throughout burgeoning neighborhoods in Queens, Rozic hopes the property tax relief will help families with higher housing expenses.

“Queens families have been crippled by sky-high property taxes and rents for far too long,” Rozic said. “It’s time for families to pay based on what they can afford and not their property’s value.”

The “circuit breaker” tax relief would also extend to renters by tying a portion of annual rent to household income.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a “circuit breaker” tax credit that would provide about $1.7 billion in rebates for homeowners whose property taxes are above six percent of their incomes in his proposal earlier in the year.

The Assembly’s budget also targets $254.5 million for affordable housing, including $100 million for assistance to help homeowners in foreclosure. An additional $310 million will be allocated toward housing preservation and rehabilitation programs, and $36.5 million for homeless prevention.

The state legislative bodies have about three weeks to meet the April 1 budget deadline.

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