2013-08-30 / Community

Reregister For STAR Tax Break

A new law requires most residents to reregister for STAR Tax Exemption; registration open through December 31st.

The New York State School Tax Relief Program (STAR) provides homeowners with partial exemptions from school property taxes. If you earn less than $500,000 and own and live in your home, you are probably eligible for the STAR exemption.

The STAR Program includes two exemptions: 1) Basic STAR - available for owner-occupied, primary residences where the owners’ total income is less than $500,000. 2) Enhanced STAR - provides an increased benefit for the primary residences of senior citizens

(age 65 and older) with incomes of $79,050 or less. STAR exemptions apply only to school district taxes.

Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder said, “This new requirement will help improve the program and safeguard taxpayer money. It’s fast and easy to register and will provide homeowners enormous financial assistance.”

Improper STAR exemptions cost New Yorkers an estimated $13 million in 2010-11, and that could increase to $73 million by 2015-16.

Enhanced STAR recipients must continue to apply annually, or continue to participate in the Income Verification Program. Additionally, first-time applicants are not affected by this year’s registration procedure and must file Form RP-425, Application for School Tax Relief Exemption, with their local assessor.

Goldfeder continued, “I encourage all eligible homeowners to apply immediately to ensure they continue to receive their exemption.”

The tax department will mail instructions – including a STAR code necessary for registration to all homeowners who currently receive the Basic STAR exemption.

Additionally, seniors who receive Enhanced STAR will be exempt from the new requirements and will not need to register to continue participation in the program.

Homeowners can register at the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s website at www.tax.ny.gov or by calling 518-457- 2036.

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