Senator Steve Saland, (R,I,C Poughkeepsie) Chair of the Senate Education committee today announced that more than $12 million has been restored in the 2007-08 state budget for Dutchess County’s schools -- an increase of approximately 6 percent over the Executive proposal. The enacted budget increases school aid across the state by $1.8 billion, the largest increase in the history of New York, bring the total state contribution to education to $19.6 billion. The 2007-08 state budget also includes $1.3 billion in middle-class property tax relief, doubling the amount of last year’s STAR rebate check received by the average Dutchess County taxpayer.
"I have maintained throughout the budget process, the education funding proposals set forth by the Governor were unacceptable and put a large number of school districts throughout New York State at risk, said Senator Saland. "I fought to secure an increased and more equitable distribution of aid for schools in Dutchess County in order to not only ensure a qualtiy education for students, but to provide tax relief to hardworking property owners."
"I am pleased that the Senate rejected the Governor’s proposal to eliminate the STAR Rebate program; a critically important tax relief initiative first advanced by the Senate in 2006. This program will lessen the burden of property taxes by providing an average rebate check double the amount of what most homeowners received last year. This program will continue to keep money where it belongs -- in the pockets of hardworking New Yorkers."