The new $85 million “Circuit Breaker” tax relief program originally applied only to New York renters. Avella advocated to expand the income tax credit and introduced state legislation to include small homeowners in New York City.
Now qualifying residents will be eligible to receive a refundable tax credit against their personal state income tax.
“The tax relief program will provide a much-needed break to both renters and small homeowners at a time when many residents are facing constant increases in their rent and property taxes,” Avella said.
The rates for the credit aren't huge. For example, for those making under $100,000 in gross income, the credit is equal to 4.5 percent of whatever amount of property tax exceeded four percent of the person’s income.
“Although the credit amount may not be significant, it is a good first step in alleviating some of the financial burden constantly faced by New York City residents,” Avella said.
Co-president of the Presidents Co-Op & Condo Council (PCCC) Robert Friedrich agreed with Avella. Friedrich is also president of the Glen Oaks Village Owners Board of Directors, overseeing the largest co-op in New York with 10,000 residents.
“We have a lot of seniors here and a lot of young families, so this type of credit is helpful,” Friedrich said. “It may not be a lot of money, but every dollar helps when you’re living paycheck to paycheck.”
Warren Schrieber, the other co-president of the PCCC and president of the Bay Terrace Cooperative, echoed the others’ sentiments.
“This is important to us. It’s important to the members that we represent,” Schrieber said. “People are always happy when they’re getting money back. It’s a nice feeling.”