Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

April 28, 2009

State Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) today launched a grass-roots petition drive to restore the STAR Property Tax Relief Rebate checks that were eliminated in Governor Paterson’s 2009-2010 State Budget.  The petition drive is part of a statewide effort to reinstate the rebate checks, which provide homeowners in Senator Fuschillo’s district with $729 on average in direct property tax relief annually.

The petition drive is being initiated to pressure Democrat state lawmakers and Governor Paterson to restore the rebate checks that they eliminated as part of the recently-enacted State budget.  Senator Fuschillo voted against the budget because it took away rebate checks and raised taxes for New Yorkers. 

Senator Fuschillo said, “STAR Rebate checks put hundreds of dollars in property tax relief directly into the pockets of Long Island’s middle class families.  These families, who are already overburdened by taxes and dealing with the current economy, need this tax relief now more than ever.  Restoring this program would mean nearly $370 million in additional tax relief for Long Islanders.”

Residents can sign the petition on-line by clicking here.

The STAR Property Tax Rebate Checks are mailed out each Fall to help residents pay their bills or cover some of the costs of rising school property taxes.  The average amount of rebate funds that homeowners in Senator Fuschillo’s district will lose under Governor Paterson’s Budget per income bracket are as follows:

             - $787 for those with incomes up to $120,000

            - $581 for those with incomes of $120,000 to $175,000

            - $383 for those with incomes of $175,000 to $250,000

            - $794 for Enhanced STAR seniors

Senator Fuschillo was one of the sponsors of the STAR rebate check program when it was initiated in 2006 and successfully beat back efforts last year by Governor Paterson and former Governor Spitzer to eliminate the rebate checks.

This year, Senator Fuschillo co-sponsored an amendment during budget negotiations that would have restored the checks.  The amendment, however, was defeated by Senate Democrats.