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New online STAR registration plan outlined by state

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Photo by Marcy Velte.

— The New York State Tax Department today unveiled an easy, fast and secure online STAR Registration platform for homeowners currently receiving the Basic STAR property tax exemption. The system will facilitate Governor Cuomo’s 2013-14 Budget initiative to save New York taxpayers millions by eliminating inappropriate STAR property tax exemptions.

The STAR Program provides 2.6 million homeowners with savings on their school property tax bills each year, but is only available for an individual’s or family’s primary residence. The Governor’s initiative follows a Tax Department investigation that showed some homeowners were receiving the exemption on more than one property.

The Tax Department is mailing letters to all 2.6 million Basic STAR recipients. The letter includes registration instructions for the Department’s online application. It also provides homeowners with a telephone number for registration or questions at 457-2036. The deadline for completing the registration is Dec. 31.

The registration applies only to Basic STAR recipients; senior citizens receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption are not impacted. In order to continue receiving Enhanced STAR, seniors must continue to apply annually or participate in the Income Verification Program.

The Basic 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 Basic STAR exemption.

The average homeowner benefit as a result of Basic STAR is $700 annually. Statewide, total savings are nearly $1.9 billion each year. The Basic and Enhanced STAR exemptions are the only property tax exemptions reimbursed by New York State.

The registration program will impact Basic STAR exemptions for 2014 and beyond; it does not impact 2013 exemptions. Homeowners will not have to re-register every year – based on the information provided in the registration process, the Tax Department will monitor homeowners’ eligibility in future years.

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