Remember to register for STAR by December 31
Story by Dan Hust
SULLIVAN COUNTY December 27, 2013 The December 31 deadline is fast approaching for homeowners to register for the state’s STAR program.
Note that this requirement does NOT apply to the Enhanced STAR Exemption, which benefits those aged 65 years or older and making less than $81,900 a year.
But homeowners of any age who are receiving the Basic STAR Exemption are being told by the state to officially sign up for the program, no matter how long they’ve received it.
If they don’t register by the end of this month, they’ll no longer receive the rebate in 2014 and beyond (2013 is unaffected).
The new requirement is the result of a state Tax Dept. investigation into fraud, which revealed that some homeowners were illegally gaining Basic STAR benefits on more than one property.
STAR exemptions only apply to school taxes yet offer a significant savings to homeowners. In the Basic program, the first $30,000 is exempted from the assessed value of an owner-occupied primary residence.
The law, however, mandates that only one home per owner can receive that exemption.
Info on the registration process was mailed to homeowners. But in case you missed it, here’s what you have to do before the 31st:
• provide a STAR code (the state mailed codes to all Basic STAR recipients; or you can use the STAR code lookup)
• provide the names and Social Security numbers for all owners of the property and spouses
• confirm that the property is the primary residence of one of its owners (married couples with multiple residences may only claim one STAR exemption)
• confirm that the combined income of the owners and their spouses who reside at the property does not exceed $500,000
• confirm that no resident owner received a residency-based tax benefit from another state
At least for now, the state is saying you’ll only have to register once.
Ready to register? Head to www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star13/default.htm for all the details and a link to the online registration system.
You can complete the registration via telephone by calling 518-457-2036 between 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. Mondays-Fridays or from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.
Finally, your local town assessor remains a primary source of information on anything property tax-related, including STAR.