For Release: Thursday, February 23, 2017
Halfmoon, NY – New York State Senator Kathy Marchione (R,C,I,Reform-Halfmoon), Chair of the Senate’s Local Government Committee, today reminded her constituents turning 65 years of age in 2017 of the fast approaching March 1 application deadline for the Enhanced STAR program.
If an individual owns their primary residence, turns 65 years of age at any time during 2017, and meets income requirements, they may qualify for the “Enhanced” STAR school property tax exemption. The “Enhanced” exemption is more than two times the value of the “Basic” STAR exemption. In order to receive the “Enhanced” benefit, individuals will need to apply. In most Towns and Cities (there are a few exceptions) the deadline is March 1, 2017. Regardless of when they turn 65 this year, homeowners may qualify for this tax savings.
There are a couple of ways the program is administered:
- If an individual currently receives a Basic STAR exemption, and purchased their home prior to March 1, 2015, they should call or visit their local assessor to determine their eligibility. Qualifying seniors will receive their benefit off their school tax bills; and
- If an individual purchased their home on or after March 1, 2015, and have not yet applied for the STAR income tax credit program, they should visit the Department of Tax and Finance website at www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star/register-for-star-credit.htm or call (518) 457-2036 to register by phone. If an individual purchased their home on or after March 1, 2015, they do not need to register separately to receive the Enhanced benefit if they have already registered to receive the Basic benefit. The Department of Tax and Finance will automatically review the application to determine whether they are eligible for the Basic or Enhanced STAR benefit amount. Qualifying seniors will receive their benefit by check.
For 2017, the Enhanced STAR exemption is available to homeowners 65 years of age or older whose income did not exceed $86,000 for tax year 2015. For property jointly owned by spouses or siblings, only one of the owners must reach age 65 this year. Eligibility is based on the combined income of the owners. If an individual exceeded the $86,000 income limit, they may still be eligible to receive the “Basic” STAR exemption.
“When it comes to reducing the property tax burden on homeowners, every little bit helps – and the Enhanced STAR program can help a lot. In prior years, some homeowners had missed out on hundreds of dollars of savings because they thought they needed to turn 65 years of age before the application deadline, or were unaware of the additional benefit. I encourage any homeowner turning 65 this year to apply for Enhanced STAR before the March 1 deadline, so they don’t miss out on their possible savings,” Senator Marchione said.
Individuals interested in applying for Enhanced STAR should contact their local assessor to clarify any questions they may have about program eligibility. Homeowners may also call the Department of Tax and Finance at (518) 457-2036 or contact Senator Marchione’s district office at (518) 371-2751 for additional details.