Keith Wright

is helping
Central &
West Harlem

seniors with
tax relief,
consumer protections,
better health care

Dear Neighbor,

During the 2005 session, the Assembly accomplished a great deal and broke new ground to improve the quality of life for residents of Central & West Harlem.

From passing an on-time budget for the first time in 21 years, to ensuring that you have extra protections against telemarketers and fraudulent businesses, to providing easy access to the health care information you need when making medical decisions, I worked hard to ensure that your best interests are served.

Maintaining your safety, increasing your savings and ensuring you have the overall best health care available are always top priorities. While we’ve accomplished a lot in 2005, there’s still more to be done, and I will continue to work to improve the quality of life and reduce the cost of living for you and your loved ones.

Keith L.T. Wright
Member of Assembly

Prescription Drug Prices on the Web for Easy Comparison Shopping

Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright wants you to find the best prices for your prescription drugs. That’s why he supported legislation (A.5403-A) that requires drug retail price lists be posted on a single Web site, making it more convenient to get the medicines you need at the best price.

To compare prices until the comprehensive statewide site is launched, visit the New York A ttorney General’s Web site,, where you’ll find prices for many pharmacies in the state.


As another tax benefit to New York senior citizens, the School Tax Relief (STAR) program allows residents who own their home to get a partial exemption from school property taxes. Qualifying seniors can have the first $50,000 of the full value of their home exempted from these taxes.

To learn more about the STAR Program, contact the Office of Real Property Services at (888) 697-8275 or online at or call your local assessor.

“Over 65” Exemption Means Savings for Senior Homeowners

The Assembly passed legislation to allow municipalities to increase the maximum income for the “Over 65” exemption from $24,000 to $25,000 beginning July 1, rising incrementally to $29,000 over the next five years (A.8696).

Under the legislation, eligible seniors over 65 could receive a 50 percent exemption on their property taxes. Additionally, municipalities could grant exemptions of less than 50 percent to seniors whose incomes exceed the income limit.

For more information, visit or contact your local assessor by calling 311.

Protecting Your Home’s Value

Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright sponsored the Home Equity Theft Prevention Act, which protects homeowners from losing their home’s equity (A.7667-A). The legislation protects homeowners from unscrupulous lenders by ensuring that all contracts are completed in easy-to-understand language clearly stating the seller’s rights for cancellation, and restricting businesses from making any misleading or manipulating statements about pending transactions. Violators face fines up to $25,000 and one year in jail.

To learn more about how to protect yourself from scam artists, contact the New York State Consumer Protection Board at (800) 697-1220 or visit online at

Assembly Makes it Easier to Stop Annoying Telemarketers

New York State established the Do Not Call Registry in 2001 so residents can sign up to stop unwanted sales calls. However, due to a loophole in the law, some telemarketers continue to interrupt meals and cause an annoyance. Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright helped close the loophole, ensuring telemarketers cannot rely on loosely-translated “established business relationships” to justify additional calls (A.7710).

To sign up for the Do Not Call Registry, log onto or call (888) 382-1222.

Non-Driver Photo IDs Available

Assemblyman Keith Wright

New York residents 62 years of age or older who do not drive can obtain an official Department of Motor Vehicles identification card at a reduced price of just $6.50.

To make the identification affordable for more seniors, Assemblyman Keith L.T. Wright has sponsored legislation (A.5790) that would allow individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits to obtain the ID free-of-charge.

To apply, visit or call (800) 342-5368.

Health Care News

Eliminate the Worry of Long-Term Care
The New York State Partnership for Long-Term Care brings private insurance providers and Medicaid together to assist individuals in their potential need of a nursing home or other long-term health care. If a seniors’ income qualifies them while on Medicaid and the duration of the care exceeds their private insurance coverage, their assets will be protected and they will be able to maintain their financial independence. More information can be found at or by calling (800) 342-3736.

Have Trusted Family or Friends Make Decisions on Your Medical Treatment
The New York Health Care Proxy allows you to select a trusted adult family member or friend to make medical decisions in the event that you are unable to do so, including whether or not to provide life-sustaining treatment. By selecting a Health Care Agent, you determine how much authority they have over your medical decisions. Information about living wills and health care proxy forms are available by calling my office.

Get the Info You Need When Seriously Ill
When you or a family member are diagnosed with a serious illness, learn your health care rights and how to make sure your insurance coverage is adequate by calling the New York State Insurance Department at (866) 694-6743 or logging on to

Assemblyman Keith Wright
Keith L.T. Wright

Suite 911
Harlem State Office Building
163 West 125th Street
New York, New York 10027
(212) 866-5809