ALBANY, N.Y. – Homeowners in New York State have been asked to reapply for the STAR property tax exemption program, and officials say nearly 400,000 have already done so.
The NYS Department of Taxation and Finance is mailing STAR Registration letters to about 320,000 home owners in parts of New York State, reminding them to enroll for 2014. The program specifically reduces the amount of money a homeowner has to pay towards the school district portion of their property taxes.
The STAR exemption is available for owner-occupied, primary residences where the combined income of resident owners and their spouses is $500,000 or less. Married couples with multiple residences are only eligible to receive one STAR exemption.
The exemption, which normally rolls over each year, needs to be filled out again by any homeowner wanting tax relief. Typically a homeowner would have enrolled in this program when they bought their home, and since then it has simply been renewed without any action. But if you want it for 2014 – you need to act soon.
The Commissioner of the State Department of Taxation and Finance, Thomas Mattox, says the department found that some people were not eligible for the exemption and others were double dipping by registering more than one property. He says that is why more than 2 million homeowners must reapply by the end of the year, and with the new legislation people that abuse the program can face penalties.
"The State has been asked to play the lead role largely because the assessors have no way of looking across jurisdictions to determine whether someone has applied for or received more than one Star exemption," said Mattox.
Homeowners have until December 31, 2013 to register by telephone or online. Register online at www.tax.ny.gov or register by phone by calling #518-457-2036.