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Assembly acts to restore an original school tax program

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Shelter Island School

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Shelter Island School

The New York State Assembly has taken the first step in what it hopes will be a fix to the School Tax Relief (STAR) program that provides tax relief to eligible property owners.
Changes to the law made last year and intended to improve the review system only complicated it, according to Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor).

“I opposed and voted against last year’s STAR changes because it overcomplicated the program and overburdened the very families and seniors it was created to help,” Mr. Thiele said.

“That’s why I fought for this legislation to pass quickly because homeowners deserve robust tax relief that makes their lives easier,” he said.

Last year’s changes switched the administration of the program to the state Department of Taxation and Finance instead of local assessors and that altered how certain homeowners receive their tax relief, he said.

The result was that new homeowners and those who bought their first homes had to pay the full tax and await a rebate. Returning to the original system, the tax savings is taken off the original bill by local assessors, allowing an immediate savings for property owners.

The legislation now awaits passage in the state Senate and a signature by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

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