Senator George Maziarz has joined with his colleagues in the Senate Republican Conference to launch a statewide petition drive to restore the STAR property tax rebate checks that were eliminated by Democrats in the recently adopted state budget.
The public is invited to sign the on-line petition by visiting www.iwantmystarcheck.com . Hard copies of the petition are available at Senator Maziarz’ district office in Wheatfield, and his satellite office on the SUNY Brockport campus.
“By taking the axe to the STAR rebate check program, this bloated budget removed nearly $40 million in tax relief that would have benefited 87,000 of my constituents,” Senator Maziarz said.
“Clearly, tax relief is not a priority for the three downstate men in a room who crafted this budget in total secrecy, or for Senator Stachowski or Senator Thompson, who went along in lock-step with this scheme,” Senator Maziarz added. “The fact that toeing the party line was put above the real priorities of upstate New York is just a travesty. Now, these same senators are talking about maybe restoring the checks after they already voted against them earlier this month. If that happens, that is nothing more than a sham—political cover for them to appear to be in tune with what the rest of us are thinking.”
The 2009-2010 state budget, negotiated behind closed doors, eliminated the STAR rebate checks that have been worth hundreds of dollars or more in tax relief to homeowners and seniors. The checks are mailed our each fall to help residents pay their school property tax bill. This year, the average check for homeowners in the 62 nd Senate District whose income is less than $90,000 would be $492. The average check for seniors would be $466.
Senate Republicans initiated the STAR rebate check program in 2006. Senator Maziarz voted no on this year’s state budget, which not only eliminated the STAR rebate check program, but enacted a host of new taxes and fees on everyday citizens and small businesses struggling to get by.