On May 17th, the County Executive announced a plan dubbed the “Homeowner Assistance Program" to give all Nassau residents who currently receive a STAR property tax exemption, $375 in tax relief as soon as possible. The cash payments, which would amount to about $100 million distributed among 300,000 eligible Nassau homeowners would come from the $385 million the County is being awarded through the federal American Rescue Plan.
Now that we have been “opening up” in Nassau I have had the opportunity to speak to more residents in my district and the question of when they might receive those payments has arisen. The latest information is as follows: at a hearing earlier this week convened by the Legislative Majority, the County Executive’s office informed the Legislature that the $375 pandemic relief payments might not be coming at all because they may not be permissible by law. When asked for further clarification, the members of the Administration present at the hearing refused to answer questions and testified that they have only recently reached out to the U.S. Treasury Department to help determine if the payments are allowed and, if so, what eligibility guidelines would need to be followed. What we already know is that any such payments would need Legislative approval as would spending any of the $385 million in American Rescue Plan funding.
The last thing our residents need is a broken promise concerning tax relief. I will continue to follow this matter closely along with keeping a watchful eye on the total $385 million package the County is receiving to ensure these funds are used to benefit our taxpayers and small business owners. Nassau residents deserve nothing less.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any thoughts and ideas you may have with respect to the County or on any particular issue that you think I may be able to assist you with. You may contact me at (516) 571-6214 or by email at LSchaefer@NassauCountyNY.gov .
Laura M. SchaeferLegislator, District 14