February 15, 2011

Gillibrand Introduces Her First Bill Of The New Congress – Legislation To Provide Property Tax Relief To 1.1 Million NY Homeowners

COUNTY-BY-COUNTY Data: Gillibrand Bill Could Help NY Homeowners Save Approximately $1 Billion

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the first piece of legislation she is introducing in the 112th Congress is a bill to provide property tax relief for more than 1 million New York homeowners. Senator Gillibrand’s legislation would enable all New Yorkers that pay property taxes to deduct the full amount of money they pay from their federal income taxes. Currently, only homeowners that itemize their federal taxes can deduct the cost of property taxes. Senator Gillibrand’s legislation would make property taxes fully deductable for individuals who do not itemize their federal taxes, providing additional tax relief for up to 30 million Americans, including approximately 1.1 million New Yorkers. The Homeowner Tax Fairness Act would save New York homeowners approximately $1 billion.

“I know how hard families and seniors are struggling with the rising cost of property taxes,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Property taxes in nearly every part of New York are putting a financial strain on many families. We need to provide these families with some relief by allowing all homeowners, even those who don’t itemize deductions on their tax returns, to deduct the full cost of their property taxes. This is not a Democratic idea or a Republican idea – it is a good idea and we have to get it done this year.”

Making Property Taxes Fully Deductible for All Individuals
Senator Gillibrand’s legislation would expand and make permanent federal property tax relief for individuals who do not itemize their federal tax deductions. Filers who do not itemize their taxes would be able to deduct the full amount of their property taxes.

According to calculations based on data from the Tax Foundation and the U.S. Census, approximately 1.1 million New York homeowners do not currently itemize their taxes and therefore cannot deduct their property taxes. These New Yorker would benefit from Senator Gillibrand’s legislation and save approximately $1 billion on their federal taxes. 

Click here for county-by-county estimates of how much non-itemizing New York homeowners could save by being able to deduct their property taxes.

  • In Western New York, the new property tax deduction could benefit up to more than 160,000 homeowners, saving up to nearly $110 million.
  • In the Rochester/Finger Lakes Region, the new property tax deduction could benefit up to more than 120,000 homeowners, saving up to nearly $105 million.
  • In Central New York, the new property tax deduction could benefit up to nearly 120,000 homeowners, saving up to more than $75 million.
  • In the Southern Tier, the new property tax deduction could benefit up to more than 60,000 homeowners, saving up to more than $30 million.
  • In the Capital Region, the new property tax deduction could benefit up to more than 100,000 homeowners, saving up to more than $80 million.
  • In the North Country, the new property tax deduction could benefit up to more than 55,000 homeowners, saving up to more than $25 million
  • In the Hudson Valley, the new property tax deduction could benefit up to 70,000 homeowners, saving up to more than $100 million.  

Before 2008, only taxpayers who itemized their deductions could claim a deduction for state and local property taxes. Congress temporarily allowed non-itemizing taxpayers to deduct their property taxes in 2008 in an effort to help alleviate the housing crisis. However, this deduction was capped at just $500 and expired at the end of 2009. Senator Gillibrand’s legislation would allow all filers to deduct the full amount of their property taxes and make this property tax relief permanent.

The benefit of this legislation to homeowners would vary according to individual home values and tax rates.