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STATE MAY REDUCE YOUR STAR BENEFITS BY 18%
Release Date: January 10, 2009

I have been advised that the Governor's submitted budget cuts an additional 18% from the STAR benefits. In recent years the state has been reducing STAR benefits to taxpayers who receive basic STAR and those seniors over 65 who receive enhanced STAR.
School districts are independent of the town.
 The cut in STAR exemptions, if enacted by the NYS Legislature, will result in higher school property tax bills since your school tax bills will not be subsidized by STAR to the degree that they once were. Schools, like every municipality, county, fire district, state governments are experiencing budget difficulties EVEN without STAR being cut. So this is very bad news. If a school tax bill stays flat (which won't happen) you still will experience a school tax hike because of the significant STAR reductions.  I have asked the Assessor to provide the town with an analysis of the impact the 18% proposed STAR cut could have on each of the school districts within the town.
 Members of the NYS Legislature will be reviewing the Governor's proposed budget in the coming months and are constitutionally required to approve a budget by April 1st.
 Although the town and school districts are independent of each other - the additional tax burdens that will be placed on schools highlight (in my opinion) the need for all governments to look for ways to tighten our belts, to make government more efficient. The Town Board and I will devote significant resources reviewing all operations in the town.
PAUL FEINER

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