Senator Flanagan Reminds Homeowners To Take Advantage Of Rebate Program

John J. Flanagan

January 05, 2007

Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) is reminding homeowners who have not yet received their School Tax Relief (STAR) program check that the deadline for applying for this tax relief is January 20th.PLEASE CLICK HERE FOR THE APPLICATION AND GUIDELINES OF THIS IMPORTANT PROGRAM.

The rebate program, which originated in the New York State Senate, is designed to deliver tax relief in the form of rebate checks to homeowners throughout the state and will deliver over $2.7 billion in tax savings to New York homeowners over the next three years. It is designed to build on the successful School Tax Relief (STAR) program, which will continue to save taxpayers money.

The first phase of checks were mailed to homeowners who were enrolled in the STAR program beginning last October. These taxpayers, whether they receive the Enhanced or Basic STAR exemption, received a check that represented approximately 30% of their current STAR benefit.

According to the New York State Tax Department, you should use the application by January 20th to claim a School Tax Relief (STAR) local property tax rebate if as a homeowner:

-you were entitled to receive a basic or enhanced STAR exemption on your 2006-2007 school tax bill and you did not automatically receive a rebate check; or

-you did not receive the STAR exemption, but you would have been entitled to receive the STAR exemption on the earlier of the date the STAR application was due for your locality for the 2006-2007 school tax year, or March 1, 2006; or

-you received a rebate check based on a basic STAR exemption and you were, or would have been, eligible for an enhanced STAR exemption on your 2006-2007 school tax bill; or

-you received a rebate check and you are unable to negotiate the check and require a replacement check. (For example, the payee is deceased; the payee is the mobile park home owner rather than the individual STAR recipient; or in the case of trust, the payee is the remainderman rather than the life estate owner.) To receive a replacement check, you must mark the check void and attach it to a fully completed (all four parts) application.

According to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, upon completion of parts 1, 2, and 3 of the form, homeowners must have their local assessor certify their eligibility in Part 4. All completed applications must be postmarked by the January 20th deadline.

Due to the regulations of the STAR program, applying for this rebate will not automatically enroll homeowners into the STAR program. A separate application for the STAR program is needed regardless of application to the property tax rebate plan.

Homeowners who receive their tax relief by using this application will receive the same amount that all others in their school district received. A list of average rebate amounts for school districts throughout the Second Senate District can be foundbyCLICKING HERE AND SCROLLING TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.

To ensure that this rebate plan continues in the future, the program would switch to a personal income tax credit program if a future governor decides not to fund the program through a proposed budget. The credit would be available to all who own a home and would be equal to the same 30% of the STAR program that the rebate program will deliver.

"I urge everyone who has not yet taken advantage of this tax relief program to apply before the deadline. This program has delivered much needed tax relief to your neighbors and you should benefit from it as well," stated Senator Flanagan. "Please visit my web site or call my office at 631-361-2154 for more information about this program and the upcoming deadline."