Minority Leader Also Cautions Bill that Would Raise Taxes on Condos, Co-Ops, Commercial Buildings and Apartments is Still Pending in Albany

9/9/2009 1:17:26 PM



Westchester County Legislator George Oros (R/Cortlandt) joined State Senator Vincent Leibell (R/Patterson), State Assemblyman Greg Ball (R/Patterson) and a large contingent of senior citizens in decrying a decrease in the state’s STAR program. 


Speaking at the Jefferson Village community center in Jefferson Valley, Oros said the state Legislature placed a financial burden on property owners throughout the state, particularly senior citizens, by reducing the Enhanced STAR allotment and eliminating STAR rebate checks in the 2009-10 budget.


“During these tough economic times people who live on fixed incomes, such as seniors, are being forced out of their homes because they cannot afford to pay rising taxes to support Albany’s spending habit,” Oros said. “The people in this county and state need true reform supported by action, not more empty promises.”


Overall, Westchester residents will lose an estimated $138.8 million from the loss of the rebate program, which netted property owners between $100 and $1,500. STAR savings for many homeowners also dropped from last year.


Meanwhile, Oros cautioned state legislation that would increase property assessments on condominiums, cooperative apartments, rental apartments and commercial buildings was still pending in Albany.



Oros said the so-called Commercial Assessment Ratio Bill, if passed, would result in certain property owners paying higher school, county and municipal taxes.


Even more proposterous is the bill, which passed the Assembly and is co-sponsored in the Senate by Suzi Oppenheimer (D/Mamaroneck) and  Diaz (D/Bronx), specifically only affects Westchester since Westchester is the only county that falls within the population guidelines of the potentially devastating legislation.


“This is another example of just how out of touch our state leaders in Albany are with their constituents,” Oros said. “Many hard working citizens in Westchester can only afford a condominium, a cooperative apartment or a rental unit. Raising the property assessment will leave many of the units unaffordable. And commercial property owners will likely pack up and move elsewhere as well where they can hold on to more of their profits.”