By Bill Parry
As rents skyrocket across the borough and the inflation rate is rising, state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) introduced legislation at LeFrak City in Corona last week that would provide a tax credit for tenants by increasing the eligibility levels of the current real property tax circuit breaker.
Under the proposal, the maximum household income eligibility for tenants and homeowners would increase from the current $18,000 to a $75,000 ceiling. The actual tax circuit breaker was established nearly 30 years ago. Additionally, the overall credit amount and property value will also increase.
“This is a much-needed property tax credit for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who day after day juggle to make ends meet,” Peralta said. “Clearly, this direct tax relief means more money in the pockets of hardworking tenants. As the cost of living and the rate of inflation increase, we must ensure the existing tax relief measures keep up with the pace.”
According to Peralta’s proposal, the eligibility level of the property value will increase from $85,000 to $200,000, and the tax credit will be set at a maximum of $800 for New Yorkers more than 65 years of age, and $400 for people 65 or younger.
“My legislation will bring the outdated tax relief structure, finally, into the 21st century,” Peralta said. “Tenants pay property taxes through their rents, and since a big chunk of their salary, unfortunately, goes towards rent, we should help them by providing this rebate.”
The property tax circuit breaker was put in place to basically cover the portion of a homeowner’s tax bill surpassing a reasonable share of their household income.
“We need to find a balance between income and rent to ensure we keep our communities vibrant and as diverse as they are now,” Peralta said. “New Yorkers are paying large amounts of their paycheck to cover rent, having then to cut down their budgets when it comes to family and medical expenses. This tax rebate will alleviate some of that economic burden.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr