A07495 Summary:

Amd 606, Tax L
Establishes a senior citizen utility circuit breaker personal income tax credit.
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A07495 Actions:

05/13/2015referred to ways and means
01/06/2016referred to ways and means
01/19/2016amend and recommit to ways and means
01/19/2016print number 7495a
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A07495 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the tax law, in relation to establish- ing a senior utility circuit breaker personal income tax credit   PURPOSE: OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL: Creates a circuit breaker refundable tax credit to provide relief to seniors that pay a high percentage of their income in utility costs.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one of the bill amends section 606 of the tax law by adding a new subdivision (ccc). Paragraph one of the . new subdivision defines eligible taxpayer as individuals over 65 years of age with gross incomes of $150,000 or less. It defines the eligible expenses as including elec- tricity, heating, residential gas, water and sewer charges, and tele- phone services, with the exception of cell phone services unless they are the sole means by which the taxpayer receives telephonic services. Paragraph two of the new subdivision explains the computation of the credit. The credit shall be equal to one half of those eligible expenses which exceed seven percent of a filers' income. The credit will deduct any funds received by an individual pursuant to the low-income home energy assistance program. Paragraph three of the new subdivision states that any amount of credit allowed under this subsection that exceeds the qualified taxpayers tax for that year shall be treated as an overpayment and refunded. Section two of the bill sets an immediate effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: New Yorkers currently pay the highest electric bills in the continental United States and the second highest in the nation, 60% above the national average. These circumstances are problematic for all New Yorkers, but especially problematic for senior New Yorkers. Seniors' bills in the Consolidated Edison service territory of NYC have increased by 20% or more over the past two years, and are. paying 102% more for their average electric bill than the average customer across the nation. Most seniors rely on fixed incomes, receiving on average $1,234 in Social Security benefits and $516.90 in Supplemental Security Income in NY. 30% of older households have total incomes of less than $20,000, and they typically experience the greatest energy burden. Unfortunately, the federal government's Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is down. Throughout the decade, the average HEAP federal block grant amount has remained well below average heating costs faced by older consumers. This means that even our neediest seniors are not getting the support they need to help pay for New York's high utility costs. This proposal is meant to provide relief that is based on the income burden a household faces. This senior utility circuit breaker would deliver relief to any senior household that pays more than seven percent of their annual - income in utilities in the form of a refundable tax credit. This proposal would provide a senior household with relief equal to half of their expenses above the seven percent threshold. For the purposes of this proposal, covered expenses would include electricity charges, gas, heating charges, including the costs of any fuels, water and sewer charges, internet, and telephone charges excluding cell phone service. By linking this relief to income, we can ensure that the bene- fits are provided to those that need it most.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Cost to be deter- mined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately
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A07495 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2015-2016 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                      May 13, 2015
        Introduced by M. of A. CRESPO -- read once and referred to the Committee
          on Ways and Means -- recommitted to the Committee on Ways and Means in
          accordance  with Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2 -- committee discharged, bill
          amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said  commit-

        AN ACT to amend the tax law, in relation to establishing a senior utili-
          ty circuit breaker personal income tax credit
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Section 606 of the tax law  is  amended  by  adding  a  new
     2  subsection (ccc) to read as follows:
     3    (ccc) Senior utility circuit breaker tax credit. (1) Definitions.  For
     4  the purposes of this subsection:
     5    (A)  "Qualified taxpayer" means a resident individual, married or head
     6  of household taxpayer who is over sixty-five years of age, with a house-
     7  hold gross income of one hundred fifty thousand dollars or less.
     8    (B) "Household" or  "members  of  the  household"  means  a  qualified
     9  taxpayer  and  all  other persons, not necessarily related, who have the
    10  same residence and share its furnishings, facilities and accommodations.
    11  Such terms shall not include a tenant, subtenant, roomer or boarder  who
    12  is  not  related  to  the  qualified taxpayer in any degree specified in
    13  paragraphs one through eight of subsection (a) of  section  one  hundred
    14  fifty-two of the internal revenue code. Provided, however, no person may
    15  be a member of more than one household at one time.
    16    (C) "Household gross income" means the aggregate adjusted gross income
    17  of  all  members  of  the household for the taxable year as reported for
    18  federal income tax purposes, or which  would  be  reported  as  adjusted
    19  gross  income  if a federal income tax return were required to be filed,
    20  with the modifications in subsection (b) of section six  hundred  twelve
    21  of  this article but without the modifications in subsection (c) of such
    22  section, plus any portion of the gain from the sale or exchange of prop-
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 7495--A                          2
     1  erty otherwise excluded from such amount;  earned  income  from  sources
     2  without  the  United  States  excludable  from  federal  gross income by
     3  section nine hundred eleven of the internal revenue code; support  money
     4  not  included  in  adjusted  gross  income;  nontaxable strike benefits;
     5  supplemental security income payments; the gross amount of  any  pension
     6  or  annuity  benefits  to the extent not included in such adjusted gross
     7  income (including, but not limited to, railroad retirement benefits  and
     8  all  payments  received under the federal social security act and veter-
     9  ans' disability pensions); nontaxable interest received from  the  state
    10  of  New  York,  its agencies, instrumentalities, public corporations, or
    11  political subdivisions (including a public corporation created  pursuant
    12  to  agreement or compact with another state or Canada); workers' compen-
    13  sation; the gross amount of "loss-of-time" insurance; and the amount  of
    14  cash public assistance and relief, other than medical assistance for the
    15  needy,  paid  to or for the benefit of the qualified taxpayer or members
    16  of his household. Household gross income shall not include surplus foods
    17  or other relief in kind or payments made to individuals because of their
    18  status as victims of  Nazi  persecution  as  defined  in  P.L.  103-286.
    19  Provided,  further,  household  gross income shall only include all such
    20  income received by all members of the household while  members  of  such
    21  household.
    22    (D) "Residence" means a dwelling in this state, whether owned or rent-
    23  ed.
    24    (E)  "Eligible  expenses"  means payments made by a qualified taxpayer
    25  for the following goods and services delivered and used at  his  or  her
    26  primary residence:
    27    (i)  residential  gas,  electric  and  steam  utility service which is
    28  subject to the provisions of article two of the public service law;
    29    (ii) residential water and sewer service;
    30    (iii) home heating fuel, which shall include  fuel  oil,  coal,  wood,
    31  propane,  natural  gas,  electricity, steam, kerosene and any other fuel
    32  when used for residential heating purposes; and
    33    (iv) telecommunications services as defined in paragraph (g) of subdi-
    34  vision one of section one hundred  eighty-six-e  of  this  chapter,  and
    35  shall  not include wireless communications service, as defined by subdi-
    36  vision ten of section three hundred one of the county law,  unless  such
    37  wireless  service  is  the  only  means  by which the qualified taxpayer
    38  receives telephonic services.
    39    (2) Computation of credit. For taxable years beginning  on  and  after
    40  January  first,  two  thousand  sixteen,  a  qualified taxpayer shall be
    41  allowed a credit, to be credited against the tax imposed by  this  arti-
    42  cle. The amount of the credit shall be one-half of all eligible expenses
    43  paid  by the qualified taxpayer to the extent such expenses exceed seven
    44  percent of the qualified taxpayer's household gross income. Such  credit
    45  shall  be  reduced by the amount of any moneys received by the qualified
    46  taxpayer pursuant to  the  low-income  home  energy  assistance  program
    47  established pursuant to section ninety-seven of the social services law.
    48    (3)  Overpayment.  If  the  amount  of  the  credit allowed under this
    49  subsection for any taxable year shall exceed  the  qualified  taxpayer's
    50  tax  for such year, the excess shall be treated as an overpayment of tax
    51  to be credited or refunded in accordance with section six hundred eight-
    52  y-six of this article, provided, however, that no interest shall be paid
    53  thereon.
    54    § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.
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