TAX ALERT: ONLY HALF OF ELIGIBLE BASIC STAR HOMEOWNERS HAVE REGISTERED, BALL URGES RESIDENTS TO ACT BEFORE DEC. 31 DEADLINE

 

    STAR_FB_PhotoBrewster, N.Y. – 10/25/2013 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) is urging anyone that is currently receiving the Basic School Tax Relief exemption (Basic STAR) to reapply by the end of the year to continue receiving the benefits.

    According to recent information released by the New York State Tax Department, only about half of the eligible homeowners in New York State have registered for their Basic STAR exemptions. Counties in the 40th Senate District application rate range between 31% and 61%.

    The Basic STAR program provides a partial exemption from school taxes for homeowners with incomes less than $500,000 on their primary residence. New legislation requires all homeowners receiving the Basic STAR exemption to register with the New York State Tax Department in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and subsequent years.

    Senator Ball said this is part of a new initiative to protect New Yorkers against inappropriate or fraudulent STAR exemptions.

    “While this new requirement is aimed at weeding out abusers of the $1.9 billion system, I want to make sure that my constituents who need and deserve the relief are not ‘weeded out’ in the process. I strongly urge those that are rightfully receiving the exemption to reapply before the end of the year so they can continue to receive this much needed tax break,” said Senator Greg Ball. “New Yorkers pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation, and in the galaxy for that matter. We need to be expanding upon our tax relief to seniors, working families and small businesses and this important program aims at doing exactly that.”

    More than 2.6 million homeowners are receiving the Basic STAR exemption and saving an average of $700.  Last year, a Tax Department study identified thousands of property owners who were receiving more than one STAR exemption on multiple properties.

    “More than 1.3 million homeowners have used our fast and easy registration process to ensure they don’t lose their STAR exemptions,” said Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Thomas H. Mattox.  “If you haven’t registered yet, we encourage you to register today.”

    County

    Number of Basic STAR Recipients

    Number of Registrations

    Percent Registered

    Dutchess

    55,346

    31,569

    57%

    Putnam

    22,525

    13,807

    61%

    Westchester

    154,865

    48,719

    31%

    The Tax Department has mailed instructions to all homeowners who currently receive the Basic STAR exemption. The letters included a STAR code that homeowners will need to register. Seniors who receive Enhanced STAR are not affected by the new requirements.

    The fastest and easiest way for homeowners to register is through the Tax Department’s web site,www.tax.ny.gov. Homeowners will need their STAR code to register. In addition to being included in the instructions that were mailed to them, homeowners will be able to find their STAR code through an online lookup or by calling the Tax Department at (518) 457-2036.

    Senator Ball will be hosting a series of STAR Exemption Workshops on Friday, November 15, to help residents apply to continue to receive their Basic STAR exemption.

    Workshops will be held at the following locations:

    • Mahopac Public Library from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
    • Brewster Public Library from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
    • Putnam Lake VFW Post 9257 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

    For more information contact jbachmei@nysenate.gov or (845) 531-9796.

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