Smithtown residents to receive bigger tax rebates

Smithtown residents to receive bigger tax rebates

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Smithtown Town Hall. File photo by Rachel Shapiro

Smithtown homeowners are slated to receive more hefty state tax rebate checks this year, thanks to a healthy report from the state comptroller, the town said this week.

The New York State Deputy Comptroller Division of Local Government and School Accountability sent a notice to the Town of Smithtown on Dec. 10 outlining that the town’s tax levy limit and tax levy for the fiscal year ending in 2016 was reviewed with “no findings.” This meant that the Smithtown residents could expect a state tax rebate check more than double the amount of last year’s amount of $173, Supervisor Pat Vecchio (R) said in a statement.

These rebate checks are made available to residents who also qualify for the state’s STAR exemptions — which includes roughly 31,734 homes in the town, Vecchio said.

“Irrespective of the debate on whether tax incentives stimulate the economy, one thing I know for sure is that had we not complied with the tax cap requirements, nearly $14 million of money from the state would have gone elsewhere and not into our homeowners’ pockets,” Vecchio said in a statement.

According to the supervisor, the economic impact to Smithtown would have been huge had the town not compiled with both requirements of the tax program. In order to receive the tax cap rebate checks, Smithtown had to keep the 2016 tax increase below the town- specific allowable tax cap amount of .99 percent and also meet the requirements of the government efficiency plan imposed by the state. This plan required that Smithtown achieve savings through intramunicipal agreements of 1 percent of its 2014 tax levy or at least $536,000 in savings.

Vecchio said the actual savings should approximate $785,000 and the tax increase of .81 percent was well below the limit of .99 percent.

The effect of complying with these requirements has a triple effect for residents, Vecchio said. Smithtown residents should benefit from the efficiency savings of $785,000, the tax increase being below the town’s maximum amount of .99 percent, and most of all, cumulatively, town residents should receive about $13,725,000 in rebate checks, the town said in a statement.

“When you take into account the economic impact of putting nearly $15 million into the pockets of our residents and taking into account the effect of spending this money in our small business community, the affect is enormous,” Vecchio said.