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Property tax freeze credit

My neighbor received a property tax credit check. Will I receive one? 
If you’re a homeowner receiving a STAR benefit, and your locality kept its tax increases under the tax cap, we’ll automatically send you a check for your property tax freeze and relief credits. You don’t need to take any action or call; we’re continuing to send checks.

The property tax freeze credit is a tax relief program that reimburses qualifying New York State homeowners for increases in local property taxes on their primary residences. The program encourages local governments and school districts to comply with the tax cap and develop approved government efficiency plans to reduce costs.

Since 2014, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has provided more than 2 million New York homeowners with more than $800 million in property tax freeze credit checks. (For information about your 2016 check, see 2016 property tax credit checks.)

2016 property tax freeze credit

For 2016, the last year of this program, the credit will apply to increases in municipal taxes, including counties, cities, towns, villages, and special districts.

Note: The Tax Department relies on information provided by your taxing jurisdictions to calculate your credit. If your taxing jurisdictions do not provide the required information timely, your property tax freeze credit may be delayed.

Who is eligible

To receive the freeze credit for 2016:

  • you must receive the STAR property tax exemption or STAR credit; and
  • your home must be located in a taxing jurisdiction that has:
    • complied with the New York State property tax cap, and
    • developed a Government Efficiency Plan to reduce costs and had it approved by the Division of the Budget.

How much is the credit

As a general rule, the freeze credit will fully reimburse you for increases to your property taxes. The freeze credit will be the greater of:

  • the actual increase in the homeowner's tax bill, or
  • the previous year's tax bill multiplied by an inflation factor (the lesser of 2% or inflation).

If your tax bill goes down, stays the same, or increases less than the inflation factor, you will receive a credit equal to the previous year's tax bill multiplied by the inflation factor.

Exceptions to the credit amount

The credit will not reimburse homeowners for increases that are the result of:

  • improvements to the property that increase its value,
  • changes in a property's exemption status, or
  • a jurisdiction-wide reassessment to the extent the increase in the property's assessed value exceeds the average change in assessed value.

Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Yonkers

These cities impose a single levy that includes both city and school district taxes. The 2016 freeze credit is based only on the city tax component.

New York City

New York City is not subject to the tax cap. For this reason, city residents are not eligible for this credit. If you are a New York City homeowner or renter, you may, however, be eligible for the New York City enhanced real property tax credit.

For more information