Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame


March 25, 2010

Letters to the Editor: March 25, 2010

Think about your STAR exemption

After speaking with several people it has been made clear to me that many do not understand that we have families who are truly struggling to make ends meet in our community. Some think that the lower income populations squander their money on non-essential possessions.

Some do not understand how a simple prescription, a vehicle that won’t run or an extra heating bill can set a family back. Life’s daily events won’t allow for them to get even a little bit ahead because something always comes up that demands their money.

Life to them is not all about education it is about survival.

Yes, this is in regard to our school taxes. I’ve heard there are many residents who are willing to pay more to keep a few of their favorite teachers. My question is then why have all of you who can afford to pay more been claiming the STAR exemption all of these years? The STAR was originally intended to ease the burden of school taxes on our seniors with fixed incomes. Then in the government’s great wisdom they opened it up to everyone, with the intent of easing the burden of school taxes for those who needed it except that when everyone claims the exemption it helps no one.

Let me explain how it works. Say you have an assessed value of $300,000.00. Then you remove the exemption of $44,000.00, which seems to be the average STAR exemption.

The taxes you would have paid on the $44,000.00 then get spread amongst everyone because the school district still needs the same amount of money to operate. The tax burden is again spread out evenly and those who could really use the break see no benefit.

This works the same with property tax exemptions. So what I’m asking you all to do is think about whether you really need the STAR exemption.

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