OSWEGO, NY ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Joined by a new homeowner on Oswego’s east side, State Senate candidate David Renzi announced his demand for real property tax relief.
Renzi rejected a plan by his opponent that would mean higher taxes for “hundreds of thousands” of Upstate families.
Speaking in front of Sara and Brian Sanders’ home on Duer Street, Renzi said Albany’s failure to enact a “tax cap” and take other steps to provide relief makes it harder for young families to afford their own homes.
“What we’re here for today is talking about property tax relief for the residents of our district,” Renzi explained. “Sara has been very gracious allowing us to come to her home.”
Families, like the Sanders, needed relief from high taxes, but all Albany delivered was excuses,” the candidate said, noting that the Sanders family is representative of all families around the district facing the same challenges.
The Sanders are a perfect example of someone who’s not only not going to get a rebate check if Albany’s plan goes through, but will see their taxes increase, he said.
“Now, a new plan by my opponent would make the problem of high taxes even worse because it guts and takes away the little relief that Albany managed to deliver.”
New Yorkers already pay the highest property taxes in the nation, and property tax bills that recently arrived in homeowners’ mailboxes in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties are $10 million higher than last year, according to Renzi. It’s $5.7 million higher in Oswego County, he added.
The increase was caused, in part, by Albany’s failure to deliver promised aid to local schools, he said.
The state budget cut promised aid to schools in the 48th Senate District by $1 million, he pointed out.
In Oswego County, six of the nine school districts received less than originally promised, he continued.
“Breaking a promise is a time-worn Albany tradition,” Renzi said. “So, when Albany politicians come promising a new, complicated scheme to lower your taxes, like the one proposed by my opponent, homeowners should beware.”
Under his opponent’s plan, 833,000 Upstate families would receive no tax relief ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and would actually see their taxes increase because very family loses its STAR rebate check, Renzi said.
“My opponent’s plan guts STAR, eliminate rebate checks and raises taxes for hundreds of thousands of homeowners,” Renzi said. “Calling a plan ‘tax relief’ and then increasing your taxes is the classic Albany two-step; but it’s time to stop fiddling while homeowners get burned.”
“We have to recognize the real problem ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ we’re spending too much,” he continued. “We have to look for ways to reduce that spending.”
He supports a plan to enact a tax cap, limiting tax increases, ending unfunded mandates that drive up local costs, and reforming school aid to give schools their fair share, Renzi said.
“As senator, I will work tirelessly to deliver our fair share of state aid and I won’t stop fighting until we get a real tax cap, real tax relief and real results,” he said.
“That (tax) cap is something that we really, really need,” Sara said. “When we first bought this house, we knew we’d be able to afford the mortgage and the property taxes as they were. If they go up, I’m not sure if we’re going to be able to afford it. I was born and raised here. My husband was born and raised here, went to college here. We’d like to raise our family here, but if the property taxes go up, we won’t be able to afford our house.”
They bought their home in July 2007.
The STAR program is something that people “absolutely need,” she added.
“If you take that away, I’m not sure if people are going to be able to afford the property taxes anymore,” she said.
The lack of economic opportunities and the high taxes are prime reasons why the region’s youth “are leaving in droves,” Renzi added.
“She hit it right on the head. The tax rates are going to get worse unless Albany does what it’s supposed to do at that’s provide a little relief,” he said. “That’s what I’ll fight for.”
“Thank you,” Sara replied.