State Budget Includes STAR Tax Rebates and Fair Share for Local Schools

After a long week in Albany, Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D-Forestburgh) said the Legislature worked with Governor Spitzer to pass a budget that will take New York State in the right direction.

"Hudson Valley residents pay some of the highest taxes in the nation," Gunther said. "Providing tax relief directly to the taxpayer and ensuring adequate funding for our schools will help change that."

Under the new Middle Class STAR program, families with incomes up to $90,000 will receive a 60 percent increase in their STAR benefit in the form of a direct rebate check. Homeowners in Sullivan County will get rebates ranging from $209 to $418, depending on income, while seniors can expect a check for $293. In Orange County, homeowners will receive rebates between $239 and $479, and seniors will get $371.

"With a new foundation aid formula in place, the state is finally funding education appropriately by ensuring high-needs school districts get their fair share," Gunther said.

The budget also includes more money for districts with exceptionally high school taxes, helping relieve the burden on taxpayers. Under the new formula, a number of schools in Orange and Sullivan counties will see significant increases, including Middletown, Monticello and Eldred which will receive at least 20 percent more than last year.

State aid for school districts in the 98th Assembly District is as follows. The figures include aid for capital projects, BOCES and transportation.

MIDDLETOWN $66,095,314 26.14%
MONTICELLO $28,854,619 24.75%
ELDRED $4,803,675 20.45%
TRI VALLEY $8,597,528 16.23%
FALLSBURGH $14,858,162 14.77%
ROSCOE $2,585,569 13.23%
LIVINGSTON MANOR $5,878,717 9.12%
SULLIVAN WEST $15,363,995 8.71%
PORT JERVIS $28,747,570 8.63%
LIBERTY $17,582,794 7.07%
MINISINK VALLEY $35,375,333 6.46%