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Star Program

Kieran Michael Lalor- State Assembly
 
The bad news: Last year's budget changed the STAR program for new home buyers from an upfront tax deduction to a rebate check. The state budget used to count STAR as an expense. But last year the Governor and legislative leaders wanted to be able to claim that they are only raising spending by 2%. So they converted the STAR tax exemption to a tax credit and magically, through this accounting gimmick, became a reduction in revenue rather than an expense and, from an accounting perspective, kept the budget at 2% growth. In addition to this being a cynical trick, the rebate check process has been caught up in the state bureaucracy and there are massive delays. Dozens of constituents have called my office asking why they have yet to receive their STAR rebate check.
 
The Good News: I am the ranking member of the Real Property Taxation Committee. This morning with the support of the committee's Chairwoman Sandy Galef (D-Ossining) the committee passed a bill that changed STAR back to an up front reduction in property taxes.
 
There is a good chance the bill will be passed by the full Assembly and Senate.