Senator Steve Saland (R,I,C – Poughkeepsie) led the debate on Real Property Tax relief on the Senate floor today. Senator Saland offered up an amendment which would include STAR property tax rebates, a cap on the school tax levy, an optional freeze on school taxes for seniors, mandate relief for schools and a circuit breaker which would offer tax breaks for those earning less than $250,000.
Senator Saland’s comprehensive proposal would ensure that homeowners would receive a property tax relief check equal to their 2008 STAR property tax rebate or the amount calculated under a new “circuit breaker” tax credit, whichever is higher.
“Last year, the Senate Democrat Leadership stripped homeowners of the STAR rebate checks. This proposal not only reinstates a property tax rebate, but imposes a cap on the state spending and delivers mandate relief to allow them flexibility in their operational expenditures,” said Senator Saland.
While the measure garnered the support of every Senate Republican, the measure failed with every Senate Democrat opposing Senator Saland’s property tax relief plan.
“The good news, however, is we forced discussion on the issue of real property tax relief and passed a bill that would ease the property tax burden for most -- albeit far more limited than the one I proposed”, said Saland. “I will continue to urge my colleagues across the aisle to recognize that far more is needed by way of relief than the mere baby steps advanced today. For starters, it’s long past time for action on mandate relief. Defeat of my comprehensive measure is unfortunately evidence that the Senate Democrat Leadership fails to comprehend the enormity of the crushing burden real property taxes impose on nearly all taxpayers. People are tired of hearing excuses from Albany. They not only want relief – they need it and they need it now,” said Saland.