“Circuit-breaker” tax relief legislation would effectively limit an individual family’s property tax burden on their primary residence. Depending on the legislation, a family’s property tax would be limited to no more than perhaps 9 percent of their gross family income, plus a modest amount of the remaining property tax over that amount. The circuit-breaker relief would apply to renters as well as home owners, would cover town and county taxes as well as school taxes, and would be confidentially issued as an individual refund on a resident’s New York state income tax return after the family has paid the full amount of the property tax owed to their local governments and school district. No one in the community would pay a higher property tax as a result of the circuit breaker. The full circuit-breaker relief reform could be phased in over a period of four or more years to eligible families who had owned their homes for perhaps five years or more.
People can check out the web site, www.NYSpropertytaxreform.org, for additional information about one circuit breaker relief model. The web site contains an automatic calculator to enable someone to find out what their property tax relief would be under one piece of legislation, depending on figures entered for property taxes and household income.
I hope that the Ticonderoga school board and town board will support the circuit breaker as a model for relieving the property tax crisis facing many families.
Richard Wray, Ticonderoga