Senate Republicans Will Continue Fight to Provide Greater Relief
Senator Kenneth P. LaValle today announced that the New York State Senate passed legislation to restore a portion of the STAR rebate program. As architect of the original STAR and Circuit Breaker program, Senator LaValle noted that this initiative falls short of meeting the needs of the people on Long Island and that he will not stop fighting until the STAR rebate program is fully restored.
The legislation passed in the Senate restores a portion of the STAR rebate check, implements a new Circuit Breaker program, provides a school property tax cap, and calls for a permanent ban on all unfunded mandates. While the plan offers far less relief than the Republican “Homeowner Protection and Property Tax Rebate Act,” this is a step in the process of delivering property tax savings for homeowners throughout the state.
“The Senate Republicans advanced a strong overall plan that would give back STAR rebate checks, while also providing a new avenue to address high property taxes related to homeowners’ ability to pay and a cap on tax rates for all Enhanced STAR recipients at their current level,” said Senator LaValle. “The Senate Democrats rejected this plan in favor of theirs because they are out of touch with the needs of suburban taxpayers. These are the same legislators who voted to eliminate the STAR rebate in the first place and are now patting themselves on the back for a adopting a program that excludes too many people in our region.”
Senator LaValle offered two amendments to the Democrats plan that would have provided greater property tax relief. One would have capped school district tax rates for all Enhanced STAR recipients at current levels. The Senate Democrats unanimously opposed this amendment, blocking the latest Republican attempt to help seniors stay in their homes, close to family and friends.
“The Democrats acted like Jesse James when they took the STAR rebate from taxpayers. Now they want to be applauded for giving a portion of the stolen money back to the people,” said Senator LaValle. “I never voted to eliminate the STAR rebate and will continue to press the Senate Democrats to pass real property tax reform measures that provide relief for those who live on Long Island and all across the state.”