Monday, September 29, 2008

There She Goes Again; Donno's Lies Continue

In a new release yesterday, Donno says "... if my opponent Craig Johnson has his way, your check amount will be zero dollars and zero cents.”

“At a time when families and seniors are having a hard time making ends meet, the last thing we should be doing is taking more money out of the taxpayers’ pockets,” Donno added. “I promise that as your state senator, I will fight to lower your property taxes and increase any associate rebates, not take them away.”

First of all, how can Donno increase rebates when budget deficits are projected for the next few years. Even this years budget is in question.

Second, Donno just plain lies about the rebate checks. I'll let Nassau County Presiding Officer Diane Yaturo explain "Barbara Donno's criticism of Senator Johnson's Triple Play Tax Relief plan is simplistic and flat-out untrue. Her contention that every Long Islander would lose their rebate check is intentionally misleading. What the Triple Play legislation does is replace the Middle Class STAR program, which gives rebate checks based on broad income categories and the school district a taxpayer lives in, with a STAR Circuit Breaker that actually issues rebate checks based on a taxpayer's exact income to their exact tax bill.

The result is that real tax relief goes to the people who need it the most. The average Nassau County family would actually receive a rebate check that is more than double the highest Middle Class STAR rebate in Nassau.

Seniors living on a fixed income, a group that generally pays among the highest portions of their income in property taxes, will be among the largest beneficiaries of the Triple Play. This is in addition to the benefits of Senior Enhanced STAR."

Here is a breakdown of what it means to taxpayers "A circuit breaker tax credit would provide targeted tax relief to households who pay more than a threshold percentage of their income on local property taxes.

For example, Long Island homeowners with a household income of up to $120,000 will have a rebate triggered if their property tax bill exceeds 6 percent of their income. The rebate will be for 70 percent of the difference.

This component will especially benefit seniors and those living on a fixed income. For example a senior living on a $40,000 fixed income with a total property tax bill of *$9,595* (the average for the Town of North Hempstead) would be entitled to a $5,036.50 rebate. This legislation does not affect the Enhanced Senior STAR program."

And the legislation is called "Triple Play" because it has two more features. One is to do away with unfunded mandates. That will in effect lower the local school tax burden for homeowners. The other function of the legislation is a cap on tax increases.
Instead of lying and attacking the proposal to save homeowners money, Donno should applaud it.

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