Senator Flanagan Calls For Extending Deadline For Property Tax Rebate

John J. Flanagan

October 22, 2007

Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) and Senator Carl Marcellino (5th Senate District) today joined to sponsor legislation that would extend the date to apply for property tax rebate checks from November 30th to December 31st, 2007. This legislation was approved in the New York State Senate and was delivered to the Assembly for further action.

This year, due to a change called for by Governor Eliot Spitzer, all homeowners throughout the state who are not enrolled in the Enhanced STAR program will have to file an application with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance in order to receive their direct property tax relief check. The deadline for applying for the program is currently November 30, 2007.

To file, these homeowners need to have an information packet that was sent to them by the Department of Taxation and Finance. This packet contains a unique "STAR code" that pertains to a residents home and instructions on how to apply.

According to the Department of Taxation and Finance, homeowners will be unable to apply for their rebate without this information. In Suffolk County, that information was supposed to begin being mailed out at the end of September and all homeowners throughout the state should have received their information by now.

But due to some mailing and administrative problems, a number of homes on Long Island either received their packet late or are still awaiting this needed information. That delay has shortened the time they are able to apply and spurred Senator Flanagan and Senator Marcellino to extend the deadline.

"Nearly 60,000 homeowners in Suffolk County received their Middle Class STAR rebate application information late because of a mailing error," said Senator Marcellino. "While it appears everyone due to receive the rebate will have the application delivered soon, the unanticipated delay could lead many homeowners to miss the deadline to apply, as homeowners cannot submit their applications without a personal identification code found on the mailed form."

"Administrative problems have shortened the time frame that many Long Islanders have to apply for this important tax relief program and that could limit the ability of some to get the relief they deserve," stated Senator Flanagan. "By extending the deadline, we are providing everyone with a fair opportunity to apply for the refund and that is the right thing to do. This money is the taxpayer's money and every effort must be made to make sure it gets delivered to them."

The legislation will also benefit homeowners statewide who have not yet applied for the rebate and will help ensure that all eligible property taxpayers will receive the rebate they deserve.

The information provided through the application process will be used to determine the amount of the 2007 STAR rebate using an income based sliding scale. This rebate is in addition to the property tax relief already received through the STAR program.

The rebate program, which will increase from last year’s $875 million in relief to $1.3 billion in homeowner relief this year, began last year under Senate leadership. This new process is due to the income verification requirement which Governor Eliot Spitzer demanded during budget negotiations.

Originally, the governor called for an elimination of this successful program but the Senate majority fought to make sure it was renewed.

Any resident with questions about the rebate program can click hereor call the STAR hotline at 1-877-678-2769.