Senator Hassell-Thompson Praises Legislature For Override Of Tax Credit Vetoes

Ruth Hassell-Thompson

May 02, 2006

Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D-Bronx/Westchester) today praised the Legislature for voting to override Governor Pataki’s veto of $1 billion in tax credits for New York’s working families. Unfortunately, the Governor has threatened to withhold the funds until constitutional issues are resolved.

The override restores funds for the newly created Empire State Child Credit, and the School Tax Relief (STAR) Plus Rebate program. Both programs are part of a tax reduction package supported by the SenateMinority Conferenceto provide tax relief for New York’s working families.

"I am proud of my colleagues in the Senate for their decision to stand up to the Governor," Senator Hassell-Thompson said. "The tax cuts we originally agreed to were a way of giving financial relief to those who need it the most. When the Governor opted to use his veto pen, we were disappointed, but resolute in restoring these credits to the hardworking people of New York. Now, SenateMinority Membersare ready to work with the Governor and Legislative leaders to find an equitable solution."

The Empire State Child Credit provides parents with immediate and direct tax relief though a credit of up to one-third of the Federal Child Tax Credit, which currently stands at $1,000.

"Parents work hard to support their families, and the state recognizes that by providing some relief to taxpayers to help make things a little easier," Senator Hassell-Thompson said. "The Empire State Child Credit is a reward to families who face financial challenges associated with raising their children."

The override also reinstates additional STAR funding that will save New York taxpayers $230 million more than the Governor’s proposal. According to Senator Hassell-Thompson, homeowners statewide will receive an average rebate check of $205 with the basic STAR exemption, and $327 with the enhanced STAR exemption. For qualified New York City homeowners and renters, single residents will have their STAR Personal Income Tax Credit increased from $62.50 to $115, and married residents will have theirs increased from $125 to $230 per year.

"Without the override, the Governor’s veto would have left millions of qualified homeowners on the outside looking in," said Senator Hassell-Thompson. "Now, every New York homeowner -- from the Bronx to Lake Erie, Westchester to the Adirondacks -- has a chance to see substantial savings when they go to their mailbox."

Senator Hassell-Thompson said that the decision by the Legislature to override the Governor’s vetoes was a necessary and responsible one.

"Our citizens expect us to not only provide the funds necessary for the basic services we have all come to depend on, but also to lessen the burden on taxpayers by offering some relief," said Senator Hassell-Thompson. "The working people of New York have entrusted us with these responsibilities, and by taking this action, we have done right by them."