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Homeowners should be on the lookout for tax rebate checks

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz Friday reminded 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.

Some homeowners in the county have already received their checks, while others are due to get their in the very near future, Poloncarz said. The rebates are a result of shared services, cooperative agreements and efficiencies that were initiated by 38 participating local governments aimed at saving local taxpayers about $20 million a year.

The initiatives that led to savings for participating local governments include the negotiation of health care concessions in public employee labor contracts, the establishment of a Medicaid anti-fraud unit and reopening public health clinics through public-private partnerships. Erie County has pursued all of these and other cost-saving initiatives as a means to generate long-term tax relief for county property owners.

Property owners in qualifying municipalities either receive a free credit equal to the greater of the actual increase in the property tax bill or one that is equal to the previous year’s tax bill multiplied by an inflation factor for both the 2015 and 2016 fiscal years.

Eligible property taxpayers also will receive rebate checks in the fall for credit due on their 2016 local government taxes.