Author Topic: NY State homeowners, a question  (Read 968 times)

Pizzabrewer

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NY State homeowners, a question
« on: September 27, 2018, 04:48:45 PM »
We moved from PA to upstate NY not quite 2 years ago.  NY has a reputation for being a high tax state, the 8% sales tax certainly helps prove that.

The house we bought is 400 square feet smaller and about $40k less valuable than the one we sold in PA.  Property taxes are $3500/yr vs. $2400 for our PA house.  Sounds kinda high in comparison, right?  However sewer and garbage/recycling pickup is included for which we had been paying $260 and $320 annually in PA, respectively.  Then we learned of the STAR rebate from Albany which is a ~$750 refund of property tax.  So overall it looked like it'd pretty much be a wash compared to PA.

So we bought the house and registered for the STAR rebate.  In September of 2017 we received our first STAR check for almost $800.  Cool.

Then this spring we received an unexpected check for almost $400.  Very cool. 

Three weeks ago we received our 2018 STAR rebate as expected, of almost $850.  Cool.

Today there was a check in the mailbox for $495.  Very very cool.  We're now making out much better than we were in PA.

I'm not exactly sure what my question is, other than "is this typical?"  I'm somewhat concerned there's been a mistake and the state may want their money back?  Is anyone else getting so many rebate checks from Albany??
« Last Edit: September 27, 2018, 05:28:52 PM by Pizzabrewer »

jim555

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Re: NY State homeowners, a question
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2018, 05:39:05 PM »
I think it is correct.  You have Star and some other rebate check as well.

teen persuasion

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Re: NY State homeowners, a question
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2018, 08:00:53 PM »
The STAR rebate checks are a new thing, that is, checks sent to new buyers.  People who bought years ago just get the STAR rebate automatically on their school tax bill.  I'm not sure if you will eventually switch to that, or the rebate checks after paying the taxes is the new norm.

The other rebate checks are more random.  At any given time there are a few different ones, and I'm never quite sure which is which or when to expect them.  I'd guess that's by design - we view them as a nice perk, but can't rely on them because they are so random.

 However, anyone that works for any municipal sort of entity always has those tax cap rules hanging over their heads.  The state uses the carrot of tax payer rebate checks for your community members to force down inflation increases in budgets of all kinds : volunteer fire companies, libraries, schools, village/town/etc governments, parks, etc.  If any agency busts the cap, no rebate checks are sent to that community (the stick).  So there's a strong incentive to stay under the cap.  Unfortunately, the state sets the cap each year: inflation (as defined by the state), or 2%, whichever is LESS.  For several years recently, inflation was set at .75%.  The library I work for did not pursue any budget increases in those years, because the cap limit was less than the cost of complying with holding a vote to increase our budget!  The inflation rate was finally recognized as >2% this year, but we were still capped at 2% increase (our last increase was in 2012).  Meanwhile, the state increases in minimum wage will eat up the budget increase.  Staff shouldn't be making minimum, but tight capped budgets constrained raises.  And then Cuomo cuts state library and school budget aid below legal limits, and every year there's a fight to restore library and school funding.

Sorry for devolving into a rant - it just gets old after a while.  Yes, state income and property and sales taxes need to go lower, but there's no fat to cut in library budgets or rural schools or village government.  Try Albany itself.

Papa bear

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Re: NY State homeowners, a question
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2018, 08:05:04 PM »
Is this a state rebate? Or only for Albany?  Does this need to be owner occupied or can it work for a second home?  I’ve never heard of this.


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Pizzabrewer

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Re: NY State homeowners, a question
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2018, 08:24:13 PM »
Is this a state rebate? Or only for Albany?  Does this need to be owner occupied or can it work for a second home?  Iíve never heard of this.


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We live near Syracuse.  When I said "from Albany" I meant from the state government.  We keep getting these random tax rebate checks from the state.  No complaints from me but as a new NY resident it's hard to understand what's going on.  A $500 check in the mail is certainly a nice surprise.  We've gotten about half our property taxes back this year in rebates.  Again, no complaints.  And yes, we are owner-occupied, one family home. 
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 08:37:11 PM by Pizzabrewer »

mbl

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Re: NY State homeowners, a question
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2018, 01:20:04 PM »
There is also a School district compliance with the property tax cap in addition to STAR.

We've lived in our home for over 28 years and get the checks not the credits.

DayLight

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Re: NY State homeowners, a question
« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2018, 11:08:12 AM »
Yes, we just got the school district tax cap compliance check from NY- that is dependent on our town complying with a state regulation. So, not necessarily normal for everyone in NY to get extra rebate checks on top of STAR, but I'm sure plenty of people do.