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Legislator Hardwick calls for STAR task force to assist county residents


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oneilj - Posted on 18 October 2013

Erie County Legislator Kevin Hardwick has requested that Erie County create a task force assigned to research and promote the New York State STAR program to ensure that eligible taxpayers receive the benefits due to them. In part, the task force would identify eligible residents who are currently not receiving STAR and help them enroll in the program.


Legislator Hardwick said he was alerted to the lapse while talking with residents to remind them that New York State is requiring all eligible Basic STAR recipients reregister before the end of the year.


“I have been meeting with residents to remind them the deadline is approaching and what I am learning is that a significant number of residents aren’t aware of the new requirement, or worse, some have never applied for STAR. Furthermore, seniors who qualify for the Enhanced STAR benefit are not receiving that credit, which is a significant savings on their school tax bill,” said Legislator Hardwick. “These are unclaimed state funds that local residents are eligible for. The benefit is significant, approximately $500 a year.”


“We need to be proactive in assisting residents with the STAR process, making them aware of these funds. By forming a task force we can focus on this specific issue and bring state dollars to Erie County to be reinvested into our community and positively impact the local economy. I believe Erie County could be losing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more,” Legislator Hardwick added.


Legislator Hardwick submitted a formal resolution to the Legislature at the Oct. 10, 2013 session to request the Director of Real Property Tax Services form the task force. His resolution was discussed during the Finance and Management Committee’s Oct. 17 meeting, which recommended it for approval. The entire Legislature will vote on the issue at its Oct. 24 session.  


For additional information or questions, please call Legislator Hardwick at (716) 858-8672 or email kevin.hardwick@erie.gov.