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State budget deficit could mean changes to STAR

Nov 29, 2019 10:30 am
Joseph Spector is reporting for Gannett New York on the series of adjustments to the state's STAR program, the annual $3 billion program that gives homeowners a break on school taxes, and how the program could still be vulnerable to change during the upcoming state budget cycle. Lawmakers in the Hudson Valley are arguing the changes need to stop because the annual tinkering with the program is confusing for homeowners and creating a headache for local tax assessors, who increasingly have less power over the program. Westchester Democrat, Assemblywoman Sandra Galef said the state cannot continue to negotiate away "this vital tax benefit year after year in the budget." Any additional reforms to the STAR program would have to be made in the state budget for the fiscal year that begins April 1. Lawmakers return to Albany in January. The state is looking at a $6 billion budget gap, so Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders may again look to find ways to adjust STAR benefits. Lawmakers said STAR changes have taken place every year over the past five budget cycles. Read the full story in the Times Telegram of Utica.
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