State Senator Patty Ritchie is urging homeowners in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties to join her fight to restore STAR rebate checks and help bring relief to overtaxed Central and Northern New Yorkers.
“New York’s property taxes are too high, and while we’ve taken stops to stop the runaway increases that threaten the ability of many New Yorkers—especially senior homeowners—to keep and stay in their homes, including passing the tough Property Tax Cap law, we still need to do more to bring property tax relief,” Senator Ritchie said.
“Taking away the STAR rebates, which gave real relief and cash in their pockets to overtaxed homeowners, was a big mistake, and one that I’ve been working to correct since I became a Senator last year,” Senator Ritchie said.
“Now, I need taxpayers to join me in this fight and convince the Assembly that restoring STAR rebates is the right thing to do right now.”
Senator Ritchie has created an online petition on her website – www.ritchie.nysenate.gov – where overtaxed homeowners can register their support for restoring the STAR rebates.
Earlier this month, the Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan bill (S.7447) that restores STAR rebates to homeowners in two phases: first, for senior homeowners, and for all homeowners in 2014. But the Assembly won’t vote on that plan, or an earlier proposal that would have restored STAR rebates as part of the 2012-13 state budget.
Senator Ritchie was a driving force in creation of both plans, and she’s also sponsored other bipartisan legislation to improve the STAR program, make it easier for homeowners to qualify for property tax relief, including:
S.134A – Allows physically disabled widow or widower to continue to receive Enhanced STAR benefits (Passed Senate);
S.1920 – Directs the state to create a simplified STAR application form for senior homeowners (Passed Senate);
S.2998 – Allows local governments to freeze property taxes for homeowners aged 70+ (Passed Senate);
S.4338A – Reinstates STAR rebates for all homeowners in 2013;
S.6286 – Reinstates STAR rebates in 2012.
S.7447 – Two-year phase-in of STAR rebates (Passed Senate)
Before it was cancelled in 2009 – part of a package of tax increases that were the largest in New York’s history – the STAR property tax rebate program delivered checks averaging up to $529 to homeowners in Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties.
The petition to restore STAR rebates can be found on Senator Ritchie’s website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov