Councilmember Treyger to introduce property tax rebate resolution

If one local elected official has his way, homeowners will feel the bite of property taxes less painfully than they might have.

Coney Island Councilmember Mark Treyger paired up with Bronx Councilmember James Vacca last month to pen a home rule resolution calling on the state – which must authorize such a change — not only to renew the tax rebate for New York City home, condo and co-op owners in effect from 2004 through 2009, but also to up it from $400 to $500.

“We need to have a very clear and bold middle class agenda for New York City,” said Treyger stressing that increase in rebates would add up to approximately $300 million dollars – a small fraction of the city’s more-than-$70 billion budget, but a big deal for the homeowners receiving them.

“Unfortunately, I believe the middle class has become the forgotten class,” Treyger said. “Many programs and initiatives are geared towards families who are struggling in the lower end but, on the other hand, the middle class is always in a tough spot. Either they make too much to qualify or don’t own enough to get the tax write-offs.”

The tax rebate proposal piggybacks off of one passed in 2004, to help ease the pain felt by home, coop and condo owners after the city increased real estate taxes by 18.5 percent in 2003, to help close a huge budget gap that occurred in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That tax break was implemented through 2006, and renewed for 2007 through 2009.

The rationale for upping the rebate by $100 derives from subsequent tax increases of 18.6 percent for homeowners and .9 percent for co-op and condo owners.

Homeowners would only be able to file for the tax rebate on behalf of their primary residence and, according to the resolution, would only qualify of they are not behind on their property taxes by more than $25.

The tax rebate would greatly affect middle class families, the ones Treyger said helped to make New York City what it is today.

“These are your teachers, your police officers, your firefighters,” he said. “Some of them are struggling with multiple jobs to make ends meet, and we have an obligation to fight back for them.”

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