U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand introduced legislation this week to provide property tax relief for some 1.1 million New York homeowners.
The Democrat from New York says her bill could save New Yorkers approximately $1 billion.
Gillibrand's legislation - the first bill she's proposed in this session of Congress - would allow property taxpayers in New York to deduct the full amount of money they pay from their federal income taxes.
According to Gillibrand, the law only allows those homeowners who itemize their federal taxes to deduct the cost of property taxes on federal returns. Her legislation would make property taxes fully-deductable for those individuals who don't elect to itemize their federal taxes.
Gillibrand says her bill - the Homeowner Tax Fairness Act - would provide additional tax relief for some 30 million Americans and approximately 1.1 million New Yorkers.
She says families and senior citizens are struggling with the rising cost of property taxes.
"Property taxes in nearly every part of New York are putting a financial strain on many families," Gillibrand said.
"We need to provide these families with some relief by allowing all homeowners, even those who don't itemize deductions on their tax returns, to deduct the full cost of their property taxes."
Gillibrand expects her proposal to receive broad bipartisan support, noting that tax relief isn't about being Republican or Democrat.
"It's a good idea and we have to get it done this year," she added.
According to information provided by Gillibrand's staff, at least one million residents of New York don't itemize their taxes, therefore excluding them from deducting property taxes.
Those individuals are missing out on about $1 billion in savings. In the North Country alone, more than 55,000 homeowners could save at least $25 million if Gillibrand's proposal becomes law.
Several years ago, Congress temporarily allowed non-itemizing taxpayers to deduct their property taxes in an effort to alleviate the national housing crisis.
But Gillibrand says that measure capped the deduction at just $500 and it expired in 2009. The legislation introduced this week would allow all filers to deduct their property taxes and make the measure permanent.
Lawmakers say that benefits resulting from Gillibrand's bill vary based on homes values and tax rates.