ONEONTA, 05/07/09 -- Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I-Oneonta) today launched a grass-roots petition drive to restore the STAR property tax relief rebate checks important to middle class families.
“Providing tax relief to New York’s struggling homeowners has always been one of my top priorities,” said Seward. “Families are struggling to make ends meet and the STAR rebate checks have provided real relief.”
As part of the petition drive, Senator Seward and fellow senate Republicans have created a new on-line petition that can be accessed by visiting “Iwantmystarcheck.com .” Hard copies of the petition can be signed or obtained by visiting Senator Seward’s district office in Oneonta, Herkimer or Cortland.
“The STAR rebate checks arrive in the fall and help middle class families pay the property tax bill, cover the cost of back to school clothes or prepare for the winter heating season,” Seward added. “For senior citizens on a fixed income, these checks have been extremely valuable when it comes to dealing with rising property taxes. People have come to rely on these funds.”
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 Republicans also fought efforts to eliminate the checks this year during the budget deliberations, including offering an amendment that would have restored the program. However, the amendment was defeated when every Democrat in the chamber voted against it.
"I encourage taxpayers who are fed up with higher property taxes to sign the petition and tell Albany to return the STAR rebate checks,” concluded Seward.