New York Lawmakers Respond To Criticism Of Recent Changes To STAR Tax Relief Program

Mar 6, 2017

ROCHESTER (WXXI) - New York homeowners have complained about changes that were made to the STAR tax relief program last year. 

Credit AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File

First-time homebuyers and anyone moving to a new home had to register for a rebate check for their property taxes and wait for a check to come in the mail.

"They claimed that it would streamline the process,” said Rochester Assemblyman Harry Bronson. “We know from experience that's not the case. In fact, the exact opposite happened."

Bronson said many homeowners' checks came late, if at all, and some were for the wrong amount.

The Democrat co-sponsored legislation that passed in the Assembly last week that would allow municipalities to simply deduct the STAR rebate from homeowners' property tax bill, the way it worked before.

"That's a much more simple process, less administration, it's upfront and it really addresses when people may have difficulty for people who have difficulty paying their taxes instead of making them wait for a future date," he said.

The measure still requires the approval of the State Senate. That chamber proposed its own version.  Bronson said he's hopeful that something can be worked out in the negotiations for the state budget, which is due on April 1.

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