Adjustment would benefit more than 32,000 households
Mayor Bill de Blasio and state and city lawmakers joined senior homeowners today to support the passage of state legislation, sponsored by State Senator Diane Savino (S4628) and Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh (A7463), that would expand property tax exemptions for senior citizens and disabled New Yorkers. Current State law enables senior citizens and disabled individuals making up to $37,400 annually to qualify for property tax relief under the Senior Citizen Homeowners’ Exemption (SCHE) or the Disability Homeowners’ Exemption (DHE) programs. Changes proposed in this legislation would raise the maximum income threshold to $58,400, which would constitute the first change to the cap since 2009. Currently, over 57,000 New York City homeowners are enrolled in these programs. This adjustment would benefit more than 32,000 households.
“Since the creation of these programs, life has changed significantly in New York City. We’ve watched the cost of living increase, but the income requirements for SCHE and DHE have remained stagnant,” said Mayor de Blasio. “New York City’s seniors should not be worrying about how they’ll afford to stay in their homes. At a time when we’re facing tax cuts for billionaires by billionaires, it is our duty to do all we can for those most deserving of some assistance. I want to thank the sponsors of this legislation, Senator Diane Savino and Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh, for their strong advocacy on behalf of seniors and disabled New Yorkers and look forward to working with them to pass this bill this session.”
"Our seniors and disabled New Yorkers, who live on fixed incomes, deserve to reside in their communities without the fear of losing their homes. 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. I’m so proud to carry legislation that will bring much-needed property tax relief for our seniors and disabled homeowners through the SCHE and DHE programs. I thank Mayor de Blasio for helping keep their homes affordable,” said State Senator Diane Savino.
"New Yorkers understand that in order to sustain vibrant, stable communities, we need strategies to ensure long-term affordability. Property tax exemptions for senior and disabled homeowners are an important tool in this effort, and I am proud to sponsor legislation that will make many more people eligible to receive this benefit. I thank Mayor de Blasio for focusing on this issue and for working to make our city more equitable in so many ways,” said Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh.
“We are very encouraged by the support behind this important proposed legislation,” said Finance Commissioner Jacques Jiha. “It is becoming increasingly difficult for some of our most vulnerable citizens to manage their homes. Raising the income threshold for senior citizen and disabled homeowners provides much needed financial relief, and an opportunity to include thousands more into these programs.”
Department for the Aging Commissioner Donna Corrado said, “A simple change in the income threshold for SCHE and DHE would make a world of difference to older homeowners struggling to make ends meet in New York City. We saw the benefits when the maximum income for SCRIE and DRIE, the City’s programs that provide relief to renters, were increased. Raising the income threshold for homeowners is not only fair, it makes it possible for thousands more older New Yorkers to continue to live in their own homes and communities without having to worry about their property taxes going up.”
“New Yorkers with disabilities often struggle to stay in their homes due to increased healthcare and durable medical equipment costs,” said Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Victor Calise. “Affording them a tax savings will provide them the stability that is needed for them rob stay in their homes and neighborhoods. I once again commend the Mayor and Assembly Member for raising the bar and improving the lifestyle for both persons with disabilities and seniors.”
Currently, SCHE and DHE provide a property tax exemption of 50 percent of the assessed property value for senior and disabled homeowners making up to $29,000 per year, with homeowners making up to $37,400 receiving a smaller exemption on a sliding scale. Under the new legislation, senior and disabled homeowners making up to $50,000 would be eligible for the 50 percent exemption, with homeowners making up to $58,400 receiving a smaller exemption on a sliding scale. The city estimates that raising the income threshold would provide eligible senior and disabled homeowners with an average benefit of $1,750.
The Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit will be conducting increased pro-active outreach to New Yorkers across the city who are currently eligible and those who will be become eligible under the income expansion to assist them in enrolling in the SCHE and DHE programs.
"We talk to thousands of New Yorkers across the city each week and we know how essential rental and tax support, like SCHE and DHE, are to helping families stay in the homes that they love. Our door knocking and outreach teams look forward to enrolling even more New Yorkers in this necessary tax relief," said Director of the Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit Regina Schwartz.
"The Independent Democratic Conference long advocated to alleviate property taxes for our low- and middle-income senior and disabled homeowners through the Senior Citizen Homeowner Exemption (SCHE) and Disabled Homeowner Exemption (DHE) programs, which why Senator Diane Savino carries legislation to discount these unaffordable costs. For these residents, living on a fixed income in New York City while owning a home and paying property taxes jeopardizes their ability to live out their golden years in dignity and comfort in the neighborhoods they contributed so much to. We applaud Mayor Bill de Blasio for recognizing the importance of this program and look forward to working together to help ensure these homeowners on a fixed income also share in an affordable New York," said State Senator Jeffrey Klein, Independent Democratic Conference Leader.