May 27, 2015. This report details the stark differences between the circuit breaker relief proposals advanced by the Governor and Assembly versus the flawed STAR rebate plan the Senate proposed. The report shows that both programs would provide some property tax relief but the circuit breaker credits are superior to STAR rebates in many ways. For example:
- Circuit breakers would address a serious shortcoming of the property tax—that payments are not linked to the taxpayers’ ability to pay. STAR rebates are the same regardless of income and home value.
- STAR rebates would apply only to homeowners. A circuit breaker would also help renters, recognizing that they pay the landlord’s property taxes indirectly through rent payments. More low-income New Yorkers rent than own their homes and renters would not be eligible.
- Because it is pegged to income, the circuit breaker would provide meaningful property tax relief to those homeowners and renters who need it most. The STAR rebate, in contrast, would provide tax cuts to more homeowners but they would be considerably smaller.