Just yesterday, Governor Spitzer released a statement declaring federal rebate checks will be exempt from state income taxes. However, when you look at this closely, it is really just smoke and mirrors. By default, the rebate checks are already tax exempt. The state would have to go out of its way to tax them. Once again, Governor Spitzer is trumpeting a victory for hardworking, middle-class families who need a break, when in reality he has done nothing more than grandstand.
If Governor Spitzer really wanted to help the families who are feeling the squeeze, he would advocate for my bill that would make the Middle Class STAR rebate checks tax exempt. As it currently stands, as soon as residents receive their STAR rebate checks, that money is counted as income and is taxable. Instead of giving us true relief, Governor Spitzer has shown no willingness to stop reaching into our pockets and taking money from our rebate checks.