Unanimous Democrat Opposition Kills Opportunity to Help Seniors Afford Property Taxes, Stay in their Homes
Senate Democrats voted unanimously today to oppose an initiative to freeze school property taxes for New Yorkers age 70 and older, blocking the latest Senate Republican attempt to help seniors afford their property taxes so they can stay in their homes.
The legislation, sponsored by State Senator Kenneth LaValle, would cap school district tax rates for all Enhanced STAR recipients at current levels. The State would reimburse school districts for any loss in revenue.
"Seniors should be frustrated and angry that each and every Senate Democrat voted against my amendment to provide them with property tax relief, virtually guaranteeing even higher taxes for seniors. My legislation would have put a stop to out-of-control taxes in New York and help those who can least afford it. I will continue to press the Senate Democrats to pass my legislation to help seniors who live on Long Island and all across this state,” Senator LaValle said.
“There’s no excuse for Senate Democrats to vote down our legislation to provide meaningful property tax relief for fixed-income seniors who truly need it. After voting to eliminate the STAR rebate check for seniors and homeowners as part of last year’s budget, it’s clear that delivering property tax relief is not a priority of the Senate Democrat conference. Seniors and all New Yorkers are screaming out for property tax relief, however, the tax-and-spend Democrats aren’t listening,” Senate Republican Leader Dean G. Skelos said.
As part of last year’s State Budget, Democrats eliminated the STAR school property tax relief rebate checks, as well as the enhanced STAR rebate checks important to seniors. The checks, worth hundreds of dollars or more, were delivered to homeowners each fall and used to defray a portion of a homeowner’s property taxes or to pay bills.
The 2009-10 State Budget raised taxes by $8.5 billion and increased spending by $12 billion over last year. Every Senate Republican voted to oppose the Budget.