Senator LaValle: Don't Forget STAR Deadline

 

    New York State Senator Ken LaValle is reminding homeowners that the deadline for New York State’s School Tax Relief Program (STAR) is March 1, 2013. STAR is a tax relief program that lowers property taxes for owner-occupied primary residences. There are two levels of STAR benefits: Basic STAR and Enhanced STAR.

    Basic STAR is available to residents who own and live in their own 1- 2 - or 3-family house, condominium, or cooperative apartment and earn less than $500,000 a year. There is no age limit for Basic STAR. For qualifying homeowners, Basic STAR exempts the first $30,000 of the full value of a home from school taxes. Once approved for Basic STAR, a homeowner need not reapply each year unless they move to a new primary residence.

    A homeowner may already have the Basic STAR exemption, but if he or she turns 65 any time in the year 2013, he or she may be eligible for the Enhanced STAR exemption. In addition to being 65 or older, the applicant must own property used as a primary residence, and the total annual income of all the owners of the property must be $79,050 or less. If these qualifications are met, a separate application for Enhanced STAR must be completed. For qualifying seniors, Enhanced STAR exempts the first $63,300 of the full value of their home from school taxes.

    If you file an annual state income tax return, you may also be eligible to enroll in the STAR Income Verification Program, in which you can authorize the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to verify income eligibility each year. Please ask your assessor about this program. If you qualify for the enhanced benefit but choose not to enroll in the STAR Income Verification Program, you must reapply each year for the Enhanced STAR Program.

    The STAR Program is locally administered by the local town assessor’s office where homeowners may acquire and file applications between January 1 and March 1; as well as ask questions. The amount of the STAR benefit is set every year by the State and is based on the type of property owned. The benefit on a homeowner's tax bill, therefore, may vary each year.

    Local offices:

    • Town of Brookhaven the phone number for your local assessor is (631) 451-6300
    • Town of Riverhead the phone number for your local assessor is (631) 727-3200 extension 255
    • Town of East Hampton the phone number for your local assessor is (631) 324-4187
    • Town of Southampton the phone number for your local assessor is (631) 283-6020
    • Town of Southold the phone number for your local assessor is (631) 765-1937
    • Town of Shelter Island the phone number for your local assessor is (631) 749-1080.