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News about state's STAR program  

New law requires homeowners to re-register to receive STAR exemption in 2014

The Watervliet City School District reminds homeowners to re-register with the New York State Tax Department before the end of the year to continue receiving the Basic STAR exemption in 2014. If you’re a homeowner who has benefited from reduced property taxes under the state’s Basic School Tax Relief (STAR) program in prior years, it’s important to note that you must re-register with the New York State Tax Department by December 31, 2013, in order to continue receiving the exemption in 2014 and the years that follow. Learn how to register online

The STAR Program provides school tax relief for homeowners, with the State paying a portion of those taxes for eligible homeowners. It is not a new source of funding for schools and does not reduce or increase actual school tax rates. To receive the tax relief, homeowners must apply through their local assessor's office. In the past, once homeowners applied for and received the Basic STAR exemption, they did not need to reapply unless they purchased and moved to a new primary residence.

Taxpayers currently receiving the Basic STAR exemption must register with the State by December 31, 2013, to receive the exemption in 2014. The State will mail letters explaining the registration process to homeowners of Albany County the week of September 3-6, 2013. View the mailing schedule

The new law has no effect on 2013 property taxes or exemption.

Senior citizens receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption are not affected by the new registration requirement. They must continue to apply annually or participate in the Income Verification Program.

 

FAQs about the new requirements

 

Who is required to re-register for the Basic STAR program under New York’s new legislation?

Resident homeowners who already receive the Basic STAR exemption are required to re-register if they wish to continue receiving this tax break in 2014 and subsequent years.

When is the deadline to re-register?

December 31, 2013.

How do I re-register?

The process can be completed online. The state has also provided an option to re-register by phone; call (518) 457-2036 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. or Saturdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Why are homeowners required to re-register for this benefit?

Governor Cuomo launched this initiative to help reduce fraud after state officials found numerous instances of property owners receiving more than one exemption. By law, homeowners are allowed a STAR exemption for their primary residence only.

What if I am a senior citizen receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption?

This new legislation does not affect the Enhanced STAR program. Senior citizens who participate in this program must continue to apply annually for the Enhanced STAR exemption or participate in the Income Verification Program.

What if I am a resident homeowner who has never participated in the STAR program?

New applicants for the STAR program are required to complete the state’s Application for School Tax Relief (STAR) Exemption (form RP-425) and submit it to their town assessor.

What will happen if I don’t re-register for the Basic STAR program?

The state will send reminder letters in December 2013 and January 2014. In February 2014, town assessors will be given the names of residents who have not re-registered, and those homeowners will no longer receive the STAR exemption.

Why is the school district providing information on this new law?

While the Watervliet City School District does not administer any portion of the STAR program, school officials want residents to know about the new re-registration process so that they can continue to benefit from the tax breaks associated with the program.

How can I get more information?

Visit the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance’s STAR Web page, call (518) 457-2036 or download a fact sheet (PDF) created by the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance. The state sent informational letters to qualified homeowners between August 19 and October 4, 2013.