All across New York State, homeowners are beginning to realize that they will NOT be receiving their STAR rebate check this year. Last year, around this same time of year, New York State property taxpayers received a much-needed STAR rebate check in the mail. The STAR rebate program gave homeowners the tax relief that many of them needed to be able to keep their taxes current and offset the high cost of the taxes we already pay. This year, thanks to the New York City-driven policies that prevailed when the New York State budget was adopted in April, there will be NO rebate and NO check in the mail.
The New York State budget that was adopted last April has had devastating effects on families, senior citizens and businesses all across the State. By eliminating the STAR rebate program, New York State homeowners and families have lost over $1.45 billion in tax relief. At a time when New Yorkers are already facing rising costs on everything from energy to health care, the last thing New York State should be doing is placing additional financial burdens on our struggling property taxpayers.
As one of the individual Senators who worked to establish the STAR program, I strongly opposed this year’s New York State budget and fought hard to enact an amendment that would have restored the STAR Rebate program.
Unfortunately, my amendment was rejected by all 32 Democratic Senators and lost by only one vote! Last April’s New York State budget was developed in secret and failed to address the financial struggles that many middle class homeowners face as a result of increases in their property taxes. Eliminating critical property tax relief for homeowners at this time is just plain wrong.
There are many areas in New York State government where spending should be reduced, but the budget should not be balanced on the backs of property taxpayers who already pay some of the highest taxes in the nation.
As a part of my efforts to restore the STAR Rebate program, I have initiated an online petition calling on Governor Paterson to reinstate the Rebate program. Please click here to visit my website and join the fight to restore the STAR rebate program.
New York State Senator, 54th District