Saturday, June 25, 2016

CDC Confirms Lead Levels Shot Up in Flint Kids After Water Switch

Lead levels in kids' blood shot up just after Flint, Michigan changed its water supply and didn't fall until months later, federal health officials confirmed Friday.

They said children who drank Flint water had a 50 percent higher risk of dangerously elevated blood lead levels than before the switch.

The analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cannot say just how many children were affected, or what it might mean for their futures. But it does confirm that the water poisoned them.

"What we have documented is there is a clear increase in blood lead levels in the children who were screened over time," said Patrick Breysse, director of the CDC's National Center for Environmental Health, who led the analysis.

"It provides a sound basis for providing services to children in Flint." 

Click here for the full article.

Weekly Address: Designating Stonewall National Monument

West Wing Week: 6/24/16

President Obama Participates in a Discussion with Mark Zuckerberg and Entrepreneurs

Dr. Jill Biden Visits Peru

Dr. Jill Biden travels to Peru to meet with students, teachers, government official and civil society leaders to promote girls' education and women's empowerment.

Democratic National Convention Preview

Jim Kenney, Leah Daughtry, and Kevin Washo previewed the Democratic National Convention to take place in Philadelphia July 25-28, 2016, and talked about its planning. Some of the topics they discussed included preparations for security and protests as well as party diversity and unifying efforts. They responded to questions from reporters at the National Press Club. 

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Discussion on the U.S. Terrorist Watch List

Timothy Healy, former director of the FBI Terrorist Screening Center, discusses why he thinks the terrorist watch list is necessary, who is included on the list, and the process by which individuals are removed from the list.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

Oval Office Chat: Chancellor Angela Merkel and PM David Cameron

On June 24, The President spoke by phone with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany regarding the British people’s decision to leave the European Union.  Both said they regretted the decision but respected the will of the British people.  

The two leaders agreed that the economic and financial teams of the G-7 partners will coordinate closely to ensure all are focused on financial stability and economic growth.  The President and the Chancellor affirmed that Germany and the EU will remain indispensable partners of the United States.  

The leaders also noted that they looked forward to the opportunity to underscore the strength and enduring bond of transatlantic ties at the NATO Summit in Warsaw, Poland, July 8-9.

President Obama also spoke by phone with Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom to discuss the outcome of yesterday’s referendum on membership in the European Union, in which a majority of British voters expressed their desire to leave the EU.  

The President assured Prime Minister Cameron that, in spite of the outcome, the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, along with the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO, remain vital cornerstones of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy.  

The President also expressed his regret at the Prime Minister’s decision to step aside following a leadership transition and noted that the Prime Minister has been a trusted partner and friend, whose counsel and shared dedication to democratic values, the special relationship, and the Transatlantic community are highly valued.

The President also observed that the EU, which has done so much to promote stability, stimulate economic growth, and foster the spread of democratic values and ideals across the continent and beyond, will remain an indispensable partner of the United States.  

The President and Prime Minister concurred that they are confident that the United Kingdom and the EU will negotiate a productive way forward to ensure financial stability, continued trade and investment, and the mutual prosperity they bring. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary       

Friday, June 24, 2016

Another Shutdown at Indian Point Nuclear Facility

Statement from Governor Andrew Cuomo

"The unexpected shutdown of the reactor at Indian Point 2 because of a weld leak is just the latest example of the repeated and continuing problems at the plant. In the last year alone, there has been unprecedented degradation of Indian Point Unit 2 baffle-former bolts, groundwater contamination, and increased NRC oversight at Unit 3 due to numerous unplanned shutdowns. This is yet another sign that the aging and wearing away of important components at the facility are having a direct and unacceptable impact on safety, and is further proof that the plant is not a reliable generation resource."

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Note: Additional information regarding the latest shutdown is available here

It’s Official — Bernie Sanders Is Staying In The Race And Will Not Concede

By H.A. Goodman
Contrary to the conventional wisdom saying that Bernie Sanders would never have been able to force a contested Democratic convention, Hillary Clinton has less than 2,383 pledged delegates. Thus, Bernie Sanders has recently confirmed his desire to continue, as stated by Time:

Bernie Sanders Vows to Continue ‘Political Revolution’ in New York 

But that did not stop the Vermont Senator from defiantly promising to continue the political revolution in a town hall on Thursday, giving a glimpse into his possible future role in the Democratic Party in which he campaigns for progressive candidates across the country.
Speaking with the cadence and conviction of a viable candidate in midtown Manhattan, Sanders again did not concede the nomination…and did not endorse his opponent. 

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Huffington Post

De Blasio Stands By His Complaints About Cuomo, A Year After Feud Spilled into Public

Nearly a year after he held an extraordinary press conference in City Hall to denounce his one-time boss Gov. Andrew Cuomo as "vindictive," Mayor Bill de Blasio said Thursday he had no regrets about his public criticisms of the state's top Democrat.

Asked whether "it was a mistake" to criticize Cuomo, who has what could be described as an elephant's long memory for slights, de Blasio said he had no regrets. 

"The first answer is no," the mayor said. "I said the truth. I stand by it."

Click here for the full article.

Source: Politico and The Empire Report

Mayor de Blasio Rails Against NYPD Officers Busted for Being 'Cops on Call' for Mayoral Donors

By Erin Durkin and Thomas Tracy

Mayor de Blasio railed against the high-ranking NYPD officers busted for being “cops on call” for two deep-pocketed mayoral donors on Thursday.

But he made it clear that none of their shenanigans started under his watch, or under Police Commissioner Bill Bratton.

“These instances began before Commissioner Bratton and I were in office, and the U.S. Attorney said very affirmatively they had nothing to do with City Hall, they had nothing to do with me,” de Blasio said during a press conference in the West Village, where the NYPD outlined the city’s security plans for Sunday’s Gay Pride March.

On Monday, three high-ranking NYPD officers, along with Brooklyn businessman Jeremy Reichberg were hit with federal charges that they traded gifts for favors. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: The New York Daily News and The Empire Report

President Obama Designates Stonewall National Monument

Cuomo Applauds President Obama's Historic Deisgnation of Stonewall National Monument

The following statement was issued today by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

"There is no more fitting location for the first monument to LGBT history than Christopher Park across from the Stonewall Inn. Since 1969, New York has led the nation in the fight for LGBT rights. The Stonewall Uprising sparked a movement that we still feel to this day, and I am proud that we uphold that legacy by continuing to push for equal rights for all New Yorkers. From marriage equality, which I signed into law five years ago today, to groundbreaking hate crimes legislation, to securing and protecting transgender rights, New York is a state of unrelenting progress in the LGBT movement. The Stonewall National Monument will honor that history of progress, and I am proud to have signed legislation to help create a symbol that demonstrates to the world how much we have achieved and how much more we must accomplish for equality for all."

The new Stonewall National Monument will preserve Christopher Park, located directly across from the Stonewall Inn, and be the first ever monument to LGBT history in our nation allowing visitors and residents to honor the many brave individuals who have, and continue to, stand up for their rights.

In April, Governor Cuomo signed legislation (S.6891/A.9454) which made President Obama's historic designation possible by allowing the city of New York to transfer Christopher Park to the United States government in order to create a park, monument, or for another historic or recreational purpose. 

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo 

HIV-Positive Individuals in NYC to Become Eligible for Housing and Other Forms of Support

On June 23, 2016, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced all HIV-positive individuals in New York City will become eligible to receive housing, transportation and nutritional support. The significant expansion of eligibility for Emergency Shelter Assistance is a result of a policy issued by the State Department of Health’s AIDS Institute that eliminates the technical distinction between those who are considered in need of care and those who are not. It has long been proven that all individuals who are diagnosed with HIV – whether they show symptoms or do not – benefit from receiving care.
“With today’s compassionate and common sense guidance, we are creating a better future for all New Yorkers living with an HIV positive diagnosis,” Governor Cuomo said. “Our commitment to fighting this disease is unrelenting and guided by our remembrance of those we lost. Every individual living with HIV should have access to life-saving care, regardless of whether or not they are symptomatic of the disease at that moment.”  

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said: “New York was once the epicenter of the AIDS crisis, but we have made remarkable progress to reverse that trajectory, and get New Yorkers the proper care and treatment they need to live healthier lives. I commend Governor Cuomo and the AIDS Institute for recognizing the need to expand access to every HIV positive individual and continue the momentum to end the epidemic once and for all.”
Today, it is common knowledge and consistent with recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that care and treatment should begin immediately upon diagnosis of HIV in order to achieve viral load suppression. For this reason, HIV status is the current standard by which determinations are made for eligibility to receive care and treatment in a broad array of programs.
However in New York City, benefits for housing, transportation and nutrition are unnecessarily restricted to individuals on public assistance pursuant to obsolete terms such as “symptomatic” HIV or AIDS, and who are receiving HASA services. The guidance issued by the AIDS Institute, available here, clearly confirms that, to the extent permitted by law, the terms “clinical/symptomatic HIV illness or AIDS”, “AIDS or HIV-related illness”, and other similar terms shall mean laboratory-confirmed HIV diagnosis.
Consistent with the policy statement, the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance has determined that those diagnosed with HIV will be eligible for Emergency Shelter Allowance, which includes a monthly transportation and nutrition allowance as well as a 30% income contribution cap toward rental costs for New York City Public Assistance recipients.
The new rule will go into effect in 60 days.

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

President Obama's Statement on the UK Referendum

The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision.  The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy.  So too is our relationship with the European Union, which has done so much to promote stability, stimulate economic growth, and foster the spread of democratic values and ideals across the continent and beyond.  The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the world.

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

President Obama Delivers a Statement on the Supreme Court's Ruling on Immigration

Broadcast on June 23, 2016.

White House Champions of Change for Living Wage

The Impact of Caribbean Culture on America

House Republican Unveil Tax Reform Agenda

In the fourth of a series of policy rollouts, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Ways and Means Committee Chair Kevin Brady (R-TX), and members of the tax-writing committee unveil their party’s proposal to reform the tax code.

Click here for video.

Source: C-SPAN

SUNY SA President Responds to Supreme Court's Affirmative Action Decision

The following statement was issued today by SUNY Student Assembly President and SUNY Trustee Marc J. Cohen. 

"One of the most enriching aspects of our college years is exposure to diversity. The world is a melting pot of races, cultures, and lifestyles. As SUNY students we are privileged to attend some of the most diverse campuses in the nation. We learn, celebrate, and grow together.

The Supreme Court’s decision to support that diversity only serves to reaffirm inclusion as a core part of our shared values. Higher Education is a resource that should be available to everyone, especially the most vulnerable members of our society. We are looking forward to a future that is more diverse and accepting than ever before."

The Student Assembly of the State University of New York (SUNY SA) is the statewide recognized student government organization comprised of student leaders elected by their peers from across SUNY’s 64 campuses. Empowering students throughout the state, the SUNY SA is committed to student life and ensuring the representation of its members on the state and national level as well as throughout the SUNY system.

Source: SUNY SA

Saving Our Youth: Prevention & Early Intervention

Typically, juvenile delinquency follows a trajectory similar to that of normal adolescent development. In other words, children and youth tend to follow a path toward delinquent and criminal behavior rather than engaging randomly. Research has shown that there are two types of delinquents,
  • those in whom the onset of severe antisocial behavior begins in early childhood, and
  • those in whom this onset coincides with entry into adolescence.
In either case, these developmental paths give families, communities, and systems the opportunity to intervene and prevent the onset of antisocial behaviors and justice system involvement.

Click here for the full article. 


'Flashback Friday': Europe's Total War, 1940

Trailblazers in Black History: Samuel Coleridge-Taylor

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was an English composer who enjoyed considerable acclaim in the early years of the 20th century.

Coleridge-Taylor’s father, thwarted in his attempts to progress as a physician—through apparent racial prejudice—deserted his son and English wife and returned to his native West Africa. At the age of five Samuel began playing the violin and joined the choir of a Presbyterian church in Croydon, where H.A. Walters guided his progress and arranged his admittance to the Royal College of Music in 1890.

Click here for additional information. 


White House Threatens Veto of Zika Funding Bill

The White House has been begging Congress for money to fight the Zika virus epidemic since last February. But President Barack Obama said Thursday he'd veto a bill the House and Senate are preparing.

The House passed a measure Wednesday night as Democrats staged a sit-in over gun legislation. It would provide $1.1 billion to prepare for, study and fight the Zika virus. Obama asked for $1.9 billion, and the White House says the bill also carries some unacceptable riders aimed at damaging Planned Parenthood and other family planning groups. 

The Senate is ready to take it up next week, or after the July 4 recess. It's included as part of a military and veterans funding bill.  

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

Officials: U.S. Report Will Say Drones Have Only Killed 100 Civilians

The Obama administration is preparing to announce as early as next week that it believes around 100 civilians have died in nearly 500 U.S. drone strikes since 2009, U.S. officials tell NBC News.

That is a far lower estimate than those of the three major independent groups that seek to track the secret operations in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. The highest estimate among those groups puts civilian casualties from drones at over 1,000.

The disclosure, which is expected to cite an estimated range of civilian deaths lower and higher than 100, represents the latest attempt by the president to fulfill his promises to be more transparent about the controversial secret killing program he ramped up when he took office. Despite those vows, officials continue to release very little information about the targets and circumstances of each lethal strike. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: NBC News

Sanders: I Will Vote for Hillary in November

Trump: I See Parallel Between 'Brexit' and U.S.

Trump Says Brexit a Great Thing

By Marney Carmichael

United States presidential candidate Donald Trump announced this morning while visiting Ayrshire, Scotland that the UK decision to leave the EU “is a great thing”.

They “took back control of their country,” the Republican told reporters as he arrived at Trump Turnberry for the reopening of the refurbished golf resort.

When asked it the “Leave” decision bodes well for his Presidential campaign, he responded:

“I think it’s a great thing that’s happened. It’s an amazing vote, very historic.

“People are angry all over the world. They’re angry over borders, they’re angry over people coming into the country and taking over and nobody even knows who they are.”

Regarding David Cameron’s announcement to step down as British PM after the outcome of the historic referendum, Trump said: “Well, that’s too bad,” adding that the UK will “heal” from the expected economic downfall.

Click here for the full article.

Source: euronews.

David Cameron’s “Unacceptable Behaviour” to Blame Over Referendum Defeat, Oettinger Tells Euronews

Blame for the failure to convince British voters to remain in the European Union lies at the door of David Cameron, European Commissioner G√ľnther Oettinger told Euronews.

The Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society told Euronews that the decision by the Prime Minister to “order” the Commission to stay “out of the game” was a mistake.

Asked whether Cameron was to blame, Oettinger responded: “ I think so, yes. What he did is not acceptable.” 

Click here for video.

Source: euronews.

Brexit is “Warning Shot” to EU, Says British Conservative MEP Syed Kamall

The leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament says the UK’s decision to leave the European Union is a “warning shot.”

Speaking at an “English Breakfast” hosted by the ECR in Brussels, British Conservative MEP Syed Kamall, who campaigned in favour of a Brexit, told journalists:

“The EU cannot continue as it is. the EU has to reform. There were people that said: that is just a minority of people, we don’t really believe that way. What we have shown when we have put that argument to the British people – on both sides, and you have the arguments on both sides and you have the counter arguments – the British people have decided to vote to leave. and I think that sent a warning shot.’

Click here for video.

Source: euronews.

Merkel and Hollande ‘Deeply Regret’ Britain’s Vote to Leave the EU

Source: euronews.

Brexit: What Happens Now?


Euronews takes you through the options for Britain’s divorce from Brussels.

What happens now
In the short term, nothing. The arrangements are so complex that the UK’s status will remain as it was before until the terms of the exit are agreed. This is likely to take at least two years (see below).
Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty outlines the process of withdrawal. It has not yet been used as no state has ever left the EU.
The most urgent matters will be for the UK to introduce its own rules and regulations to replace those previously supplied by the EU and to agree on its relations with other countries that previously were handled by the EU, most notably on trade.
A deal will also be needed on how to treat EU workers, student and others based in the UK and Britons living abroad. Given the upheaval on a social and economic level that would be caused by simply ejecting all these people, a transitionary arrangement is likely to let the vast majority stay for a number of years. 

Click here for the full article.

Source: euronews.

Bank of England and ECB Take Measures to Reassure Markets

By Chris Cummins | With AGENCIES

The Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has said its ready to intervene and provide additional help to prop up financial markets.

He delivered a statement designed to reassure markets:
“We are well prepared for this. The Treasury and the Bank of England have engaged in extensive contingency planning.
The Bank will not hesitate to take additional measures as required as those markets adjust and the UK economy moves forward. 

Click here for video.

Source: euronews.

UK Ship ‘Needs New Captain’ After Leave Vote – Cameron

By Alasdair Sandford

Source: euronews.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Day the NRA's Gun Dam Began to Crack

By Michael Tomasky

That wasn’t about watch lists. It was about the ongoing holocaust that the NRA and the Republicans are abetting.

I couldn’t believe Wednesday night that some liberals were expressing indifference or even suspicion toward the House Democrats’ sit-in. I wouldn’t say this was all that widespread, but I did see it, and it was based on the fact that one of the bills they were demanding a vote on, the one banning people on watch lists from buying guns, is problematic from a civil-libertarian point of view. 

Oh please. Do these people know history happening when they see it? The sit-in was about the two bills only in the most nominal sense. It was really about dead bodies. It was about the NRA and its stranglehold on their institution. It was about saying “enough.”

I wrote earlier this week that yes, the NRA won again on those four Senate votes, but “someday, this dam will break.” Well, it’s coming a hell of a lot faster than I thought it would. No, the dam isn’t broken—yet. That will still take a fair amount of time. But after Wednesday night, it’s now possible to see a different future, one in which the NRA is not all-powerful. It’s no longer crazy to think that its back can be broken.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Daily Beast 

Orlando, Trump, Identity-Group-Hate-Politics, and the Republican Party


Orlando:  Yet another mass shooting, but this one in larger numbers than any previously in the nation.  It happened, as is well-known, in an LGBT night-club.  It has been widely (although not completely, see Frank Bruni in the June 15 New York Times and The Times editorial of the same day) reported as a “terrorist attack.”  This is very convenient for much of the news media and certainly for the Repubs.  For the latter it gives them yet another opportunity to lay all over President Obama for “doing nothing,” not even calling it by its right name (as if that really meant something, and oh, by the way, if he did use “radical Islam,” Fox”News” would find something else to hang around his neck), without of course offering any policy alternatives, other than calling it “radical Islamist terrorism.” 
Well, let’s dispose of the “terrorism” thing, in the political sense that is, first.  If Mateen was in fact a political terrorist, “inspired by radical Islamists,” he surely didn’t know much about them.  For when he made his famous warning call to 9/11 he referred to being incited by ISIS and Hezbollah.  The problem there is that the former is a Sunni organization while the latter is Shiite, and they don’t even talk with each other.  In Iraq and other parts of the ME they have often fought each other in the most brutal and barbaric way, from the neighborhood level to widespread sectarian strife to that of nation states (the Iraq-Iran war, for example).
No, as more evidence about Mr. Mateen and his life and times becomes available it is becoming increasingly clear that he was very likely a closeted gay man filled with self-loathing and rage, which the homophobic prejudice that is clearly present in certain elements of Islam (just like certain elements of Christianity which, in this country, have become all too apparent in the wake of Orlando) certainly could have helped to create within him.  But the Repubs., and certainly their current leader, just love to talk about “terrorism” (created of course in perfect bipartisanship by Democratic and then Republican policies alike going back to the US-supported insurrection in Afghanistan and the arch-criminal assaults on Iraq and Syria and Libya) and blame it all on Barack Obama, who, incidentally is by now, considering all the wars and coups he has instigated and supported, not to mention his abject “pivot to Asia”, which could land the world in a huge nuclear conflict, one of the most aggressive and hypocritical imperialists in modern times.
You can read the complete commentary here
Source: The Greanville Post

Oval Office Chat: President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya

President Obama spoke by phone today with President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya to accept President Kenyatta’s condolences for the terrorist attack in Orlando, Florida.  

The President reiterated his appreciation for the strong partnership between Kenya and the United States on a host of issues, including combatting global terrorism and noted the progress Kenya has made on security.  

The two leaders also discussed the challenges Kenya faces in hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees for more than two decades and the need for strong international support. President Kenyatta reiterated that Kenya will continue to respect the dignity and safety of refugees in Kenya and comply with its international legal obligations.  

The President and President Kenyatta agreed that the United States and Kenya would work closely together on this issue, to better ensure that the needs of refugees and host communities are met. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

National Security Council Notes: Progress in Colombia's Peace Process

The following statement was issued today by National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

The United States congratulates the Government of Colombia on reaching agreements with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) on a bilateral ceasefire, a timetable for disarmament, and security guarantees for demobilized combatants.  Although challenging issues remain as the two sides continue negotiating a final peace agreement, today's announcement represents important progress in ending Colombia's 52-year conflict.  This progress is a testament to the courage and leadership shown by Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos during four years of difficult negotiations.

Under Plan Colombia, the United States partnered with Colombia for more than 15 years and under administrations of from both our political parties to strengthen Colombia's democratic institutions, safeguard its citizens, and improve the lives of the Colombian people.  We will now be Colombia's partner in peace.  This is why President Obama announced Peace Colombia in February, a new strategic framework for our bilateral assistance focusing on peace accord implementation, as well as the Global Demining Initiative for Colombia, which the United States co-sponsors with the Kingdom of Norway. We will stand ready to help the Colombian people as they work toward a just and lasting peace. 

Source: The White House, Office of the Press Secretary

Cuomo Responds to SCOTUS Decision on President Obama's Immigration Plan

The following statement was issued today by Governor Andrew Cuomo. 

“Today’s Supreme Court decision relegates millions of undocumented Americans to the shadows of our economy and society, leaving them to remain living and working in fear of deportation. We are talking about immigrants who came to this nation as children and don’t know any country other than the United States. We are talking about hardworking, upstanding contributors to our economy in communities all across the country. We are talking about more than 300,000 of our neighbors here in New York State. When President Obama acted in the face of Congressional gridlock to begin fixing a broken immigration system, his executive order was a sensible and important step toward long-overdue reform. Today’s deadlock was a devastating step backward.”

Source: Press Office, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

New Homeowners: Register with NYS by July 1 to Receive a STAR Credit Check in September

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance is alerting new homeowners—and those who recently purchased their homes—to a change in the School Tax Relief (STAR) program. These homeowners—including all who purchased their primary residence after August 1, 2015—must register for STAR with New York State instead of applying with their assessor. Property owners who bought their home before May 1, 2014, will continue to receive the STAR exemption and don’t need to take any action.

New STAR applicants are eligible for the STAR credit rather than the STAR property tax exemption, which they may have received for previously owned properties. Homeowners will receive a STAR check instead of an exemption on their school property tax bill. The eligibility rules are the same.

Because STAR is the only property tax exemption that is funded by New York State, it’s more efficient for the program to be directly administered by the NYS Tax Department. Under the exemption program, taxpayers had to apply with their assessor’s office and then register with New York State. To receive the STAR credit, taxpayers must only register with New York State.

Homeowners who register by July 1 will receive a STAR check in September, which will be worth the same amount as the exemption. Those who register after July 1 will receive a check later. Homeowners in Nassau and Suffolk counties who register by July 1 will receive their STAR checks in October and December, respectively, because Long Island has later school tax billing dates.

“By taking just a few minutes to register online or by phone for the new STAR credit, new STAR applicants will receive the benefit each year as long as they’re eligible,” said Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Jerry Boone. 

“Be sure to register by July 1 to receive your check when your school taxes are due.”

Who must register?

Those who bought their home after August 1, 2015, must register with the Tax Department.

Those who bought their home between May 1, 2014, and August 1, 2015, must register if: they bought their home after the 2015 STAR application deadline, or they have never applied for the STAR benefit on their primary residence.

Owners of homes purchased before May 1, 2014, don’t need to take any action—they will continue to receive the STAR exemption on their property tax bills.

Easy registration online or by phone

Register at the Tax Department’s website. For those without Internet access, telephone registration is also available at (518) 457-2036 from8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

No change for current STAR and Enhanced STAR exemption recipients

Current Basic and Enhanced STAR recipients will keep their exemptions as long as they continue to own their current home. Enhanced STAR is available to income-qualified homeowners 65 and older. For 2016, the Enhanced STAR income limit is $84,550.

Current Enhanced STAR recipients who aren’t enrolled in the Income Verification Program must, however, continue to file a renewal application with their local assessor each year.

Source: New York State Department of Taxation and Finance