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Poloncarz reminds Erie County homeowners of property tax cap freeze credit program rebate checks

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Sat, Jan 23rd 2016 12:50 am

Some property owners from municipalities who participated in countywide government efficiency plan that saves local taxpayers approximately $20 million per year have already received checks

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz reminds Erie County homeowners to be on the lookout for rebate checks that are being issued this week as part of the state's property tax cap freeze credit program.

"The hard work my administration and the Association of Erie County Governments put in to developing the Erie Countywide government efficiency plan paid off in the form of direct property tax relief that will be arriving in the mailboxes of homeowners over the next two years," Poloncarz said. "The rebate checks some homeowners have already received and others will receive in the very near future is the result of shared services, cooperative agreements and efficiencies initiated by, and among, the 38 participating local governments which have, and will continue to, save local taxpayers approximately $20 million per year."

The efficiency plan includes more than 80 initiatives the participating local governments either have implemented since 2012 or will implement going forward that demonstrate real and quantifiable savings for the participating towns and villages. The initiatives included renegotiating labor contracts with health care concessions, the establishment of the Medicaid anti-fraud unit, reopening a public health clinic through a public-private partnership, transitioning to a digital tax mapping system and creating a first-of-its-kind land bank.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the State Legislature enacted the property tax freeze credit program as part of the 2015 state budget to encourage local governments and school districts to generate long-term tax relief. Property owners in qualifying municipalities receive a "freeze credit" equal to the greater of (1) the actual increase in their property tax bill or (2) the previous year's tax bill multiplied by an inflation factor for both the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years.

In addition to the checks being issued this month, eligible property taxpayers should also expect to receive checks in fall 2016 for the credit due on their 2016 local government taxes.

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