ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) – On Tuesday, Onondaga County legislators voted unanimously to approve a one-time $200 stimulus payment for senior citizens who qualify for the Enhanced School Tax Relief (STAR) property tax exemption.

Homeowners can expect to receive their checks at the end of the year, according to county officials.

The Senior Household Stimulus Program was proposed by Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon in his 2022 State of the County address.

The goal of the program is to help senior citizens recover financially from the COVID-19 pandemic and ease the burden of the economic downturn.

The program, financed through the county’s fund balance, is estimated to cost $5.5 million.

County lawmakers believe around 27,500 county homeowners qualify for Enhanced STAR and will receive the $200 checks. To qualify for Enhanced STAR, you must be a homeowner at least 65-years-old with a household income of no more than $92,000.

Onondaga County Legislator Peggy Chase (D) says the checks will help seniors on fixed incomes, especially as home assessments and taxes continue to rise.

“You know, it’s not a lot, but it’s something.”

PEGGY CHASE, (D) ONONDAGA COUNTY LEGISLATOR

Onondaga County Legislator William Kinne (D) said he supports the stimulus program for seniors but is encouraging county officials to meet the needs of other groups, specifically those who have a lower income.

“I applaud the County Executive for thinking of something like this, but it seems to me we should be more broadly thinking of all the people in the community, especially those who are low-income struggling,” Legislator Kinne said.