ALBANY - Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I Olean) has launched a statewide petition drive to restore the STAR rebate checks to homeowners.
The effort is designed to pressure Governor Paterson and lawmakers to re-establish the rebate checks they eliminated as part of the recently-enacted State budget.
The multifaceted petition drive will utilize email and social networking sites such as Facebook, along with creation of a new on-line petition.
"Every fall, households across the state have come to rely on STAR rebate checks for things like school clothes, groceries and other necessities," Young said.
"What was once needed property tax relief has now been taken away. This petition drive is an opportunity for the public to tell Albany that the STAR rebate checks are important to their families."
Sen. Young pushed to initiate the STAR rebate check program in 2006, which provided a yearly check mailed directly to homeowners to help ease the burden of skyrocketing property taxes. Sen. Young said by eliminating the program, $1.6 billion will be lost to property owners statewide including: $4.2 million in relief for homeowners in Allegany County; $6.1 million in Cattaraugus County; $11.3 million in Chautauqua County; and $5.5 million for Livingston County. The average check per household in her district would have totaled $403.
As part of the petition drive, a new on-line petition has been created that can be accessed by visiting "www.iwantmystarcheck.com/." Copies of the petition and a district-by-district breakdown of how much taxpayers from their STAR rebate checks are available.
Sen. Young said hard copies of the petition also can be signed or obtained by visiting her district offices in Jamestown and Olean. More information can also be obtained by calling the Senator's toll-free phone number at 1-800-707-0058.
Sen. Young said she fought on the Senate floor to stop this year's disastrous tax and spend budget, but Senate Democrats forced it through.
"It would have taken just one Senator to cross party lines and vote against these budget measures and support rebate checks for our families and seniors," Young said.
"People raising their voices by signing the petition will help us in our efforts, and I encourage everyone to participate," Young said.