Thiele Unveils Property Tax Relief Plan
February 16, 2006
Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (R,I,WF-Sag Harbor) has unveiled a property tax relief plan that would save Suffolk County homeowners approximately $960 and senior citizen homeowners nearly $1,400. “We need a plan to provide property tax relief for homeowners on Long Island,” said Thiele. “If property taxes continue to rise at the rates we have experienced over the past few years, we will be taxing people out of the opportunity to realize the American dream of owning a home, force a mass migration off the island and force seniors to sell a lifetime of memories because they can no longer afford to pay property taxes.” The plan provides significant property tax relief for all New Yorkers while enacting property tax policies to provide long-term relief. Thiele said his plan includes School Tax Relief (STAR) program enhancements, reforms to halt Medicaid waste and fraud, and restoration of state aid to school districts. The plan includes:
- Creation of a STAR Excelsior program. STAR, created in 1997 to provide school tax relief, has not kept pace with current property tax rates and home values. An additional $1.75 billion in additional tax relief would be realized by indexing the Basic and Enhanced STAR exemptions to the current median housing value. This would increase the current exemption by 70 percent.
- Providing $72.86 million in restoration aid to school districts. Many school districts throughout the state years ago sustained cuts to their state operating aid allocations. This means school districts today operate with less state aid or have passed the increased costs on to property taxpayers.
- Medicaid reforms. Fraud, waste and abuse cost New York taxpayers nearly $4.5 billion annually.
- Placing restrictions on unfunded mandates because they require school districts to increase their tax levies on property owners.