State Rebate Checks to Begin Landing in Mailboxes in About Two Weeks
Keep an eye on your mailbox over the next few weeks the state will soon be sending out free money.
Just in time for fall elections the state is sending out its two tax-rebate programs in September: a $350 check for families with children and then a check to refund residents for this year's growth in school property taxes.
The money comes courtesy of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature. They approved the roughly $750 million in tax breaks for families and homeowners over the past two years.
Critics and Cuomo's Republican opponent Rob Astorino have blasted the rebate checks, saying they are election-year gimmicks.
The State Department of Taxation and Finance said Cuomo's name won't appear on the checks. They will be signed by the department's commissioner, and there won't be any accompanying message from Cuomo.
In 2013, Cuomo and Legislature agreed to provide the $350 checks to residents with children under 17 as of 2012 and with incomes between $40,000 and $300,000.
It's a three-year program that was part of a budget deal that included keeping higher taxes on millionaires and increasing the minimum wage to $9 an hour by the end of 2015.
This year, residents will receive the $350 checks in the mail — to an estimated 1 million families. In 2015 and 2016, the money will come as credits when people file their state income taxes.
In March, Cuomo and the Legislature agreed to what the governor calls a property-tax freeze. The program provides a rebate to homeowners whose local governments and schools stay under the property-tax cap — which limits the growth in property taxes to less than 2 percent a year.
So, if your school district stayed within the tax cap this year, you will see a rebate check.
Be careful though depending on your income, you may have to claim the rebates as taxable income when you file your state and federal income taxes next April.