Senator Ranzenhofer Launches Grass-Roots Petition Drive to Restore STAR Rebate Checks Eliminated by Democrats


Senator Ranzenhofer and members of the Senate Republican Conference today launched a statewide, grass-roots petition drive to restore the STAR property tax relief rebate checks important to middle-class families that were eliminated by the Democrats.

The multifaceted petition drive will utilize email and social networking sites such as Facebook, along with creation of a new on-line petition to pressure Democrat lawmakers to restore the rebate checks they eliminated as part of the recently-enacted State budget.

 “Western New Yorkers already pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation.  State leaders must reinstate the STAR Rebate checks to provide much needed property tax relief for homeowners.  Senior citizens and families often use the rebate checks not just to defray skyrocketing property taxes, but to off-set energy costs, college tuition, and other household expenses.  Reinstating the STAR rebate checks is a start to providing real property tax relief for homeowners,”  said Senator Ranzenhofer.

The 2009-10 State budget, put together behind closed doors and in complete secrecy by three New York City Democrats, took away the STAR rebate checks worth hundreds of dollars or more to 82,767 seniors and homeowners in our community.  The checks are mailed out each Fall to help residents pay their bills or cover some of the costs of rising school property taxes.

As part of the petition drive, Senate Republicans have created a new on-line petition that can be accessed by visiting “”  Copies of the petition and a district-by-district breakdown of how much taxpayers lost when the Democrats took away their STAR rebate check are available.

Hard copies of the petition can be signed or obtained by visiting our district office at 8203 Main Street – Suite 4, Williamsville, New York or at one of the soon-to-be announced community forums.  

Senate Republicans initiated the STAR rebate check program in 2006 and successfully beat back efforts last year by Governor Paterson and former Governor Spitzer to eliminate the STAR rebate checks.

Senate Republican colleagues also fought Democrat efforts this year during the budget deliberations, including offering an amendment that would have restored the STAR rebate checks.  However, the amendment was defeated when every single Democrat voted against it.

Restoring the STAR rebate checks would provide $141.56 million in tax relief for homeowners in Western New York.

Attached is a school district-by-school district breakdown of how elimination of the STAR rebate checks affects individual taxpayers in the 61st  Senate District.