Westchester Residents Can Claim Family Tax Credits When Filing

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State Sen. George Latimer Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- State Sen. George Latimer  (D-Rye) and Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo are praising the decision not to mail physical checks for the "Family Tax Relief Credit." 

In Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's 2014-15 proposed State Budget, the $350 family tax credit will be turned into a tax credit available to families rather than a tax rebate check beginning in 2015.

Estimates have had the cost of sending physical checks to those who qualify as high as $2 million per year. Making the money available to families "will allow them to access it faster (claimable when filing taxes) than if they had to wait for the physical check to come in the mail later in the fall," representatives said in a press release. 

"I am pleased to see that the governor has included this change in his budget proposal," said Lupardo (D-Endwell) in the release. "If we're going to provide this relief to New York's hard working families, it should be done in the most efficient way possible."

Latimer said the decision allows government to run more efficiently. 

"To make government run as efficiently and inexpensively as possible, we had proposed a cost effective way to administer the distribution of tax rebates while still achieving the same result: lowering taxes for middle class families," Latimer said. "I'm happy to see that Governor Cuomo has included this idea in part of the budget allowing hard-earned tax dollars to be spent in better, more productive ways." 

Latimer and Lupardo have filed legislation (S4745/A6926) that will require the Tax and Finance Department to make the tax credit available when a taxpayer files his or her return for the taxable year, according to the release. 

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Comments (7)

Fifth Ave Guy:

While it might seem nice that NYS is saving a few million by not mailing the checks, a few million in the state budget is really like talking about pennies.

With a credit, the money won't stimulate the economy at all which this is supposed to do and it'll get lost in your tax return so that there will no benefit to the money at all. Plus with the checks, the money's put out at 1 time when they're mailed. With tax credits, the money could hit anytime between 2/1 & 10/15 (the last date to file your return) so it'll water down any benefits.

Too bad Sen. Latimer can never see the big picture as usual. For him its about helping the small guy with state benefits, rather than helping the small guy find a job by supporting job creation & pro growth agendas.

mjk:

bottom line is who cares really they misappropriate everything the amount of taxes property owners pay are obscene among other taxes 350 doesn't cut it

guzwhyte:

Why is this connected to having kids? I know parents feel like they deserve more and more help in hard times, but shouldn't property taxes be about strict valuation only? Theoretically, valuations are already connected to family size due to the area and configuration of the house purchased. Give us all a tax break rather than just a popular segment of the community.

colarholley:

So just as i thought seniors that still have to work are left out again.

jlombard63:

A tax credit means that when you fill out your NYS tax return you will need to 'claim' the credit on your return. Nothing is automatic about it because you will need to know where to do this and meet the criteria (I believe its income <300K and at least 1 child <17y.o. If you overlook it you will miss out on getting the credit. If you owe taxes to the state it will reduce your amount by $350. If you get a refund it would increase your refund by $350.

I like the idea of reducing the administrative costs. In the LoHud article link I list below the cost of sending out 1.2M checks is 480K or $0.40 each.

Clearly there is a political angle to sending a physical check at election time which the article describes. Either method is somewhat flawed.

A third alternative is to simply credit the 'Account' of the tax payer. NYS has all of our records electronically (which is how they would mail the checks anyway!). But, then there's no victory lap for the tax break -- so good luck with seeing that happen.

http://www.lohud.com/article/20131003/NEWS02/310030084/Tax-Watch-350-tax-credit-gimmick-

tjkoovalloor:

I really support the idea of finding cost effective ways to administer Government activities so that the government can save millions of dollars. But the important point behind is that how the ordinary citizens get the tax credit, that point you have to explain nicely.

colarholley:

HOW WILL THIS WORK. WILL IT BE ADDED TO YOUR TAX RETURN AS ADDITIONAL FUNDS OR SUBTRACTED FROM THE AMOUNT TAXABLE.

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