Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

August 26, 2013

Homeowners have to re-sign with STAR program

Staff reports
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance has started mailing letters to area homeowners reminding them to re-register for the Basic STAR tax exemption.

The registration push is driven by a 2013-14 state budget initiative to eliminate inappropriate STAR property tax exemptions.

Basic STAR exempts the first $30,000 of residential property value from school taxation. Homeowners are supposed to take the exemption on their primary residence only.

This week, the state tax department is sending letters to homeowners receiving the Basic STAR exemption in counties including Niagara, Orleans and Erie.

Homeowners have until Dec. 24 to register for the Basic STAR exemption in 2014 and beyond. Registration is by phone or online.

“When you receive your letter, don’t delay,” tax Commissioner Thomas H. Mattox said Monday. “The registration is fast, secure and easy and means you can continue to receive the hundreds of dollars in Basic STAR savings each year.”

The 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 STAR exemption.

The registration push is aimed at Basic STAR recipients who want to continue the exemption after this year. Annual registration will not be required, the tax department said.

Senior citizens receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption, which exempts the first $63,300 of home value from school taxation, are not affected. Seniors must continue to apply annually or participate in the income verification program.

For more information, visit www.tax.ny.gov or call (518) 457-2036.