Skelos Fights To Protect State School Aid For The Ninth Senate District

Dean G. Skelos

March 20, 2007

New York State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Dean G. Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) today expressed his opposition to the state school aid plan proposed by Governor Spitzer in his Executive Budget. Based upon traditional state funding formulas, the Governor’s budget shortchanges Ninth Senate District schools by $10,683,719.

"We deserve our fair share of state school aid," said Senator Skelos. "If we don’t get the state school aid we’re entitled to, it will jeopardize our children’s education and raise property taxes. The Governor’s budget takes more than $10.6 million that rightfully should go to schools within my Senate District and sends it to New York City. That’s wrong and I’ll fight to make sure we get our fair share."

Through his Executive Budget, Governor Spitzer proposed a $1.4 billion increase in state aid for New York State’s schools. That said, his plan slashes Long Island’s traditional share of this increase from approximately 13% to 8%. As a result, the Ninth Senate District's schools would receive about $10,683,719 less school aid under the Governor’s proposal than they would have been granted through the traditional state school aid formula.

Baldwin -Governor's Budget:$993,502; Tradidtional Share:$2,057,018 Difference:-$1,063,516; Rebate Checks: $3,450,000

Hewlett-Woodmere - Governor's Budget:$60,856; Tradidtional Share:$1,180,965; Difference: -$1,120,109; Rebate Checks: $2,226,018

Lynbrook- Governor's Budget: $182,752; Tradidtional Share:$1,183,620; Difference: -$1,000,868; Rebate Checks: $1,530,000

Lawrence -Governor's Budget: $247,08; Tradidtional Share:$1,238,989; Difference: -$991,907; Rebate Checks: $1,808,654

Long Beach - Governor's Budget:$398,914; Tradidtional Share:$1,534,041; Difference: -$1,135,127; Rebate Checks: $1,923,858

Malverne - Governor's Budget: $192,327; Tradidtional Share:$639,405; Difference: -$447,078; Rebate Checks: $1,445,699

Oceanside - Governor's Budget: $514,224; Tradidtional Share:$2,366,102; Difference: -$1,851,878; Rebate Checks: $3,000,000

Island Park - Governor's Budget: $165,684; Tradidtional Share:$280,261; Difference: -$114,577; Rebate Checks: $461,610

Rockville Centre - Governor's Budget: $459,790; Tradidtional Share:$1,384,998; Difference: -$925,208; Rebate Checks: $1,650,000

Valley Stream #24 - Governor's Budget: $175,608; Tradidtional Share:$402,378; Difference: -$226,770; Rebate Checks: $778,825

Valley Stream #13 - Governor's Budget: $264,322; Tradidtional Share:$823,338; Difference: -$559,016; Rebate Checks: $1,353,000

Valley Stream #30 - Governor's Budget: $204,485; Tradidtional Share:$554,834; Difference: -$350,349; Rebate Checks: $510,921

Valley Stream CHS - Governor's Budget: $1,191,597; Tradidtional Share:$1,747,555; Difference: -$555,958

E. Rockaway - Governor's Budget: $140,661; Tradidtional Share:$482,019; Difference: -$341,358; Rebate Checks: $1,005,754

Further, the Governor’s Executive Budget proposes the complete elimination the school property tax rebate check program. Last fall, every homeowner enrolled in the state School Tax Relief ("STAR") program received a property tax rebate check from New York State. In the Ninth Senatorial District, homeowners received about $26.4 million in rebate checks. Non-Enhanced STAR eligible seniors residing in the Ninth Senate District received a check averageing the amount of $241.30, with Enhanced STAR eligible seniors receiving and average of $402.98. In addition, homeowners continued to benefit from their full STAR savings.

Senator Skelos has proposed a plan that would triple the size of each homeowner’s rebate check this year and quadruple it next year and beyond. Senator Skelos’ proposal provides significantly more property tax relief to homeowners than the plan included in Governor Spitzer’s Executive Budget and, unlike the Governor’s plan, every Long Island homeowner would qualify.