Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) announced today that the deadline to apply for property tax rebate checks has been extended from November 30th to December 31st. The change, which was sponsored by Senator Flanagan, was signed into law by Governor Eliot Spitzer and gives homeowners an additional month to file for this important tax relief program.
Unlike last year, all homeowners who are enrolled in the basic STAR program throughout the state 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. For property owners who are 65 or older and already receive an enhanced STAR exemption, a rebate check should have been automatically mailed and no additional paperwork is necessary.
To file, the homeowners who are required to apply will 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 that is the reason that Senator Flanagan moved to extend the deadline to December 31, 2007.
"This program is too important to homeowners to allow a mailing error to limit anyone's access to the tax relief they deserve," stated Senator Flanagan. "This extension will give everyone a fair and realistic amount of time to apply for this tax relief and that is the right thing for the state to do. At the end of the day, this is the taxpayer's money and we should make sure that it is delivered to them."
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 has increased from last year’s total of $875 million in relief to $1.3 billion in homeowner relief this year, began last year under Senate leadership. This year's application process is due to the income verification requirement which Governor 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.
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