Schimminger Says Budget Contains Tax Relief

Calls for Governor to Approve Tax Cuts
March 30, 2006

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger said today that the state budget agreed to by the Legislature will provide “tax relief for homeowners, families with kids, senior citizens and job-creating businesses in our community. An added bonus is that the money that won’t have to be paid in taxes will be freed up to be spent on other things, meaning there’s a potential boost here for local businesses providing goods and services.”

Schimminger said the most important thing now is for the Governor to give the plan final approval. “Tax relief has always topped my list of priorities, and the agreement by the State Assembly and Senate represents welcome progress on this front. The Governor should approve it. I very much hope he does.”

The state budget being passed this week by the Legislature includes a rebate for local property taxes that will send homeowners rebate checks equal to 30 percent of their STAR school property tax credit. In Erie County, the estimated average rebate would be $252 for senior citizens qualifying for Enhanced Star and $168 for other homeowners. In Niagara County, the seniors would average $300, and others, $210. Assemblyman Schimminger noted, “Unrestricted state aid to local governments is also increased in our legislative budget, and that should help relieve pressures on local property taxes, too.”

The Legislature rejected the Governor’s proposal to continue the state’s 4 percent sales tax on clothing and footwear. Instead, it agreed to allow the tax on such items priced under $110 to expire on Saturday, March 31, as previously scheduled, so that the exemption will be year-round rather than two tax-free weeks per year.

Families with children between the ages of 4 and 17 stand to benefit from a maximum tax credit for each child of $330. “Family budgets are strained, and this is a way to help offset at least some of the expenses that come with raising children,” Schimminger said. A further reduction in the so-called marriage tax will help couples who file income taxes jointly.

The assemblyman said that the Legislature’s budget also includes an income tax credit for volunteer firefighters and a tax deduction for members of the New York State National Guard called to service in New York by the federal government, as well as tax cuts targeted to economic growth and job creation.

“The Legislature’s budget will put money back in the pockets of local taxpayers. It hitches our state’s train to an engine that’s going in the right direction. Hopefully, the Governor will climb on board,” concluded Schimminger.