To make sure that Long Islanders take advantage of the STAR Rebate program, Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) is reminding eligible homeowners to apply for their 2007 rebate check. Unlike last year, all homeowners - except those enrolled in the Enhanced STAR program - will need to file by November 30 to receive their direct tax relief check.
Homeowners 65 and older who qualify for and are already enrolled in the Enhanced STAR program through their local assessor will automatically receive their rebate checks and are not required to fill out an application. Rebate checks for these homeowners, which will average over $400 for Suffolk seniors, are scheduled to be mailed beginning the week of September 3rd.
For all other homeowners throughout the state, an application must be filed with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance in order to receive your property tax relief. The deadline for applying for the program is November 30, 2007.
The Department of Taxation and Finance will be sending all other eligible homeowners an information packet that is necessary for applying. This packet will contain a unique "STAR code" that pertains to your home and instructions on how to apply. The information provided through this application 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.
According to the Department of Taxation and Finance, homeowners will be unable to apply for their rebate without this information. In Suffolk County, this information will begin to be mailed out on or about September 24.
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 that Senator Flanagan and his colleagues initiated in 2006 but the Senate majority fought to make sure it was renewed.
In addition to restoring the program, Senator Flanagan and his colleagues fought to increase the program from last year’s $875 million in relief to this year’s $1.3 billion in homeowner relief this year.
This additional funding will double the relief seen by homeowners in Suffolk County. In 2006, rebate checks received by Suffolk County homeowners averaged $231 for those who were eligible for Basic School Tax Relief (STAR). Under the upgraded STAR rebate plan that Senator Flanagan worked for, homeowners in Suffolk County would receive an increase benefit from the program according to the following income brackets:
Those making up to $120,000 in income would see a doubling of their benefit. This means that the average check for these families would increase to $572;
Families with an income from $120,000 to $175,000, the average checks would increase to $429 for the basic STAR recipients; and
Households with income between $175,000 to $250,000 would see a minimal increase and homeowners who have a combined household income of $250,000 and above would be ineligible for this program.
Please click here for more information on the 2007 Rebate Program and for a link to the online application or call the STAR hotline at 1-877-678-2769.
Residents must have the unique "STAR code" that is included in the information provided by the Department of Taxation and Finance prior to applying for the rebate. Homeowners who do not receive their information packet from the department by the end of September should call the STAR hotline at 1-877-678-2769.
"Delivering real tax relief to Long Island homeowners is my number one priority and this rebate program is a key to those efforts. I fought to make sure that this plan was included in this year’s budget so that our region benefits and urge everyone who is eligible to take advantage of this important tax relief program," stated Senator Flanagan. "A great success last year, it will provide even more relief this year and I plan to fight to expand it next year."
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