The stimulus checks were planned to arrive way before school taxes were due, and the homeowner’s tax rebate checks began arriving in early June.
When homeowners check their mail, there might be an unexpected payment from the state there.
New York has begun mailing out this year’s homeowner tax rebate checks, several months earlier than originally planned and just a few weeks before the first round of primary elections for the Assembly and statewide races — including the gubernatorial primaries — that are scheduled for June 28.
The timing has sparked controversy because the attachment on the check stub includes a short message that states: “Gov. Hochul and the New York State Legislature are providing you this.” That type of language has been controversial this year and in the past, when incumbent elected officials have also used rebate payments to claim credit for the distribution of taxpayers’ money during an election year.
U.S. Rep. Thomas Suozzi, one of the Democratic challengers facing off in the primary against Hochul, criticized the move on Friday, contending the governor is “bribing the voters before the election … (and) if it’s not illegal, it should be illegal,” according to the New York Post.
Hochul is running in the primary against Suozzi and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
Some More Information About These Stimulus Checks
The stimulus checks are part of a one-year, $2.2 billion program included in the state budget in April. Hochul initially proposed a $1 billion property tax rebate to offset some of the financial pressure from the coronavirus pandemic and inflation.
The amount of each stimulus check will depend on factors such as where a property is located, a person’s income, and whether a property owner receives Enhanced STAR or Basic STAR. The state has information on the state Department of Taxation and Finance website to help property owners determine their level of eligibility.
“This budget will put more money back into people’s pockets,” Hochul said in April after the budget was approved.
The checks were originally expected in the fall but the state moved to speed up the distribution, Hochul’s spokeswoman told the New York Post.