Felder: “Don’t Lose Your Tax Break!”

Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) is reminding homeowners who currently receive a Basic STAR exemption to register with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance in order to continue receiving the exemption in 2014 and subsequent years. The registration requirement came about as part of new legislation intended to prevent inappropriate or fraudulent STAR exemptions. Registration began on August 19, 2013 and will continue through December 31, 2013.

The New York State School Tax Relief (STAR) Program provides an exemption from school taxes for owner-occupied, primary residences where the combined 2012 income of the owners and spouses who reside on the property does not exceed $500,000. Senior citizens with combined 2012 incomes that do not exceed $81,900 may qualify for a larger Enhanced exemption.

“The STAR program is a great initiative that gives homeowners much-needed financial relief,” said Senator Simcha Felder. “Last year, homeowners saved approximately $700 with Basic STAR and $1,290 with the Enhanced exemption.”

The Tax Department will mail instructions to all homeowners who currently receive the Basic STAR exemption. The letters will include a STAR code that homeowners will need to register. The STAR code is also available through an online lookup at www.tax.ny.gov or by calling the Tax Department at (518) 457-2036.

Homeowners do not need to re-register each year. Instead, the Tax Department

will confirm homeowners’ eligibility in future years based on the information provided in the registration process. Those homeowners who are applying for STAR for the first time are not affected by this year’s registration procedure.

Because seniors who receive Enhanced STAR are not affected by the new requirements, they will not receive new instructions from the Tax Department. However, in order to receive Enhanced STAR, seniors must continue to apply annually or participate in the Income Verification Program. 

For more information or assistance, please contact Senator Felder’s office at 718-253-2015.