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Am I eligible for the real property tax credit?

The real property tax credit known as IT-214 or "The Circuit Breaker," may be available to New York State residents who have household gross income of $18,000 or less, and pay either real property taxes or rent for their residences. If you meet all of the conditions as a homeowner or renter, you are a qualified taxpayer and may be entitled to the real property tax credit. This rebate amount can be as high as $375. You do not have to file a complete 2009 income tax return to receive this credit. If it is found you are eligible, you are able to file for the previous years of 2008, 2007 and the year 2006 as well.

Eligibility criteria is as follows for homeowners:

• Your household gross income for 2009 tax year as $18,000 or less

• You occupied the same residence for six months or more

• You were a NYS resident for all of 2009

• You cannot be claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer's federal income tax return

• Your residence was not completely exempted from real property taxes

• The current market value of your home is less than $85,000

Criteria for renters is as follows:

• Your household gross income for 2009 tax year was $18,000 or less

• You occupied the same residence for six months or more

• You were a NYS resident for all of 2009

• You or your spouse paid rent for your residence

• You cannot be claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer's federal income tax return

• The average monthly rent you paid was $450 or less, not counting charges for heat, gas, electricity, furnishings or board

In order to complete the application you will need proof of the gross income for the years filing, including the year end statements on income that are mailed to you, and proof of property and school tax bills for the years filing for homeowners or proof of monthly rent for renters.

If you are in need of assistance, call the Office for the Aging to schedule an appointment.

The Senior Connection is a column provided by the Clinton County Office for the Aging. For more information about services for senior citizens, contact their office at 135 Margaret St., Suite 105, Plattsburgh or call them at 565-4620. Information is also periodically provided by the Behavioral Health Services North Caregiver Resource Center. They may be reached at 565-4543 or 565-4625.

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