Permits senior citizens whose spouses are deceased to substitute a more recent income for purposes of determing eligibility for the enhanced school tax relief (STAR) exemption.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the real property tax law, in relation to permitting senior citizens whose spouses are deceased to substitute a more recent year's income for purposes of determining eligibility for the enhanced exemption for school tax relief
PURPOSE: This amendment would enable widows/widowers to submit proof by April 30th to their local assessors' office informing them that they have experienced a drastic decrease in income due to the loss of a spouse. If information is valid, the assessor would base the widowers STAR exemption on their most recent income tax form rather than the tax form from two years prior.
JUSTIFICATION: To validate star eligibility, an assessor goes back two years on a persons income tax form. The reason being that the STAR deadline is March 1st, and most people do not have their most current taxes complete and filed until the April 15th Federal tax deadline. So it is practical for assessors to base eligibility on the most recent filed state income tax forms, which are the forms from two years prior to the current year. However, this practice for establishing eligibility means that a widow or widower who has seen their income cut dramatically with the loss of a spouse could conceivably not see an increase in star benefit for more than three years.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2007-08: S.5363 2009-10: S.1602 2011-12: S.658
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2167 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 14, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. VALESKY, RANZENHOFER, SEWARD -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Aging AN ACT to amend the real property tax law, in relation to permitting senior citizens whose spouses are deceased to substitute a more recent year's income for purposes of determining eligibility for the enhanced exemption for school tax relief THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subparagraph (i) of paragraph (b) of subdivision 4 of section 425 of the real property tax law is amended by adding a new clause (C-1) to read as follows: (C-1) NOTWITHSTANDING THE PROVISIONS OF CLAUSE (C) OF THIS SUBPARA- GRAPH, IN THE EVENT THAT A SENIOR CITIZEN WHO, AS A RESULT OF THE DEATH OF HIS OR HER SPOUSE, EXPERIENCES A SUFFICIENT DECREASE IN INCOME DURING THE TAX YEAR IMMEDIATELY PRECEDING THE DATE OF MAKING APPLICATION FOR THE EXEMPTION, THEN FOR THE PURPOSES OF DETERMINING ELIGIBILITY FOR THE ENHANCED EXEMPTION, SUCH SENIOR CITIZEN MAY USE HIS OR HER INCOME FOR SUCH YEAR; PROVIDED THAT THE INCOME TAX RETURN FOR SUCH YEAR HAS BEEN FILED WITH THE APPROPRIATE STATE OR FEDERAL AGENCY, OR OTHER DOCUMENTA- TION OF INCOME ELIGIBILITY HAS BEEN FILED WITH THE ASSESSOR OF APPROPRI- ATE JURISDICTION, PRIOR TO APRIL THIRTIETH. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04735-01-3