Property tax relief is now on the way for senior and disabled homeowners, as per a bill signed by Governor Cuomo yesterday, July 25.
As long as the citizens are living on a fixed income, Senator Diane Savino’s legislation to expand the Senior Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE) and Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption (DHE) could potentially allow seniors to save $1,000 a year. About 32,000 additional senior and disabled homeowners could be eligible for the exemption.
“Our seniors and disabled New Yorkers, who live on fixed incomes, deserve to reside in their communities without the fear of losing their homes,” Savino said. “Many of our senior citizens choose to age in place in the neighborhoods where they’ve raised their families, worked and enjoyed throughout their lives.”
The legislation, which is supported by the Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) as well as Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, raises the maximum income threshold from the current $37,400 to $58,400. Senior and disabled homeowners now making up to that amount are eligible for the exemption.
SCHE/DHE at $50,000
Proposed chart from NYS Senate.
“With higher than average health expenses and steady increases in the cost of living, senior and disabled homeowners are fighting harder than ever to make ends meet and still pay their property taxes,” Cymbrowitz said. “I’m pleased that we were able to correct this inequity and make life a little easier for thousands of people.”
Though the legislation takes effect immediately, NYC still needs to pass a law to implement the threshold increase, something that Cymbrowitz is urging NYC Council to do.
Here’s how you are eligible for the exemption:
- Senior applicants must be 65 years of age or older in the year that they apply. For example, for this year you would need to be 65 by December 31, 2017.
- For DHE, all of the owners must be persons with disabilities.
- If you own your property with either a spouse or sibling, only one of you needs to meet this age or disability requirement.
- The combined income of all owners and their spouses cannot be more than $58,400. Income includes, but is not limited to, Social Security, retirement benefits, interest, dividends, IRA earnings, capital gains, net rental income, salary or earnings and net income from self-employment.
- For senior homeowners: All owners must occupy the property and have it as their primary residence unless:
- One of the owners is a non-resident because he or she is a spouse or used to be a spouse of the resident owner and is not living there because of divorce, legal separation or abandonment.
- One of the owners is absent because he or she is receiving health-related services as an in-patient of a residential health care facility.
- If either of these situations applies, the only person who can reside on the property during that period is the spouse or co-owner.
- For homeowners with disabilities: The property must be your primary residence if you are applying as an owner who is disabled. If you are receiving health-related care as an inpatient of a residential health care facility, your property may also be eligible.
Note: You cannot receive both SCHE and DHE (Disabled Homeowners’ Exemption). If you qualify for both, you will only receive SCHE.