New legislation requiring re-application process is under way
Erie County, NY – County Clerk Chris Jacobs is reminding homeowners that new legislation requires all homeowners receiving New York State’s School Tax Relief Program (STAR) are responsible to register with the New York State Tax Department in order to be eligible for Basic STAR exemptions in 2014 and subsequent years. This is part of a new initiative to protect New Yorkers against the costs of inappropriate or fraudulent STAR exemptions and is expected to save the state $1 million a year.
According to the State Tax Department homeowners throughout Erie County will receive notification letters in the coming days that will contain information on when and how to register. Applicants will be provided with a personalized code and be required to verify information in order to confirm their eligibility for the STAR program either on-line or over the phone.
County Clerk Jacobs wants to make certain that all homeowners, especially seniors, lookout for this important notification and follow the instructions carefully. “There are key points that need to be carefully understood so that no one who is eligible misses out on this vital program,” said Clerk Jacobs.
STAR is a tax relief program that lowers property taxes for owner-occupied primary residences. There are two levels of STAR benefits: Basic STAR and Enhanced STAR. Such exemptions apply only to school district taxes. “This will be a one-time process, Basic STAR recipients will not need to re-register each year and senior citizens who have previously received the Enhanced STAR exemption are not affected by the new registration requirement and nothing will change for them,” added County Clerk Jacobs.
The deadline to re-apply for the STAR program is December 31st. For more information on the new registration program or to re-apply by telephone, homeowners are asked to contact the STAR Program Office at (518) 457-2036 or visit www.tax.ny.gov.