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NO SURPRISE THAT SCHOOLS GOBBLED UP STAR SAVINGS

The Dec. 15 News editorial "How to steal a tax cut," expressed the editors' shock over the fact that promised savings from the STAR school tax-relief program are being gobbled up by sharply higher school budgets.

Oh please, everyone saw that STAR was a scam from day one. It was designed not to save anyone money but rather to increase school spending in order to pay for the new Regents mandates and school building programs. The fact that the local school boards took the STAR savings for themselves was totally predictable when the legislation was passed in Albany. Is there any wording in the STAR law to prevent school boards from doing this? Of course not.

Here's how the STAR scam works. First the state says that it will pay part of our school tax bill for us. Of course that "state" money really comes directly out of our wallets, so there's no real savings there, is there? Then the school boards, knowing that the mind-numbed public will scream only if their current tax bill is greater than the previous year's, confiscates all but the smallest crumbs of our supposed "savings." If the state now pays 10 percent of our bill, we can rest assured that our local school budget will rise at least that amount within a year or two. That's how the STAR scam was truly designed to work.

KENNETH WILLIAMS

Derby