An e-mail circulated by Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester) is letting homeowners who receive a Basic STAR exemption know that they must register with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance by December 31 of this year in order to continue receiving the exemption for 2014 and subsequent years. According to the State Department of Taxation and Finance, homeowners in Westchester County should be receiving information by mail between September 16th and October 4th on how to register. Once homeowners have received a STAR code in the mail, they may register online at www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/star13/default.htm.
The e-mail explained that a recent state audit found that homeowners falsely claiming STAR exemptions could end up costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. Legislation passed this year requiring new registration procedures for Basic STAR will help deter improper STAR exemption claims. The new law does not affect current year STAR exemptions.
“We cannot allow a few dishonest individuals to disrupt this valuable tax break for honest homeowners,” Buchwald said. “Protecting the STAR program from fraud and abuse allows these savings to continue to help families keep more money in their pockets.”
The Basic STAR exemption is available only on the primary residence of homeowners with a household income under $500,000 and exempts the first $30,000 of the full value of a home from school taxes. Homeowners will only have to register once.
Seniors receiving the Enhanced STAR exemption are not affected by this new law, and must continue to apply annually, or participate in the Income Verification Program. First-time Basic STAR applicants also are not affected, and must file with their local assessor.
Assemblyman Buchwald is encouraging new homeowners to apply for Basic STAR and seniors to participate in the Income Verification Program, and wants individuals with any questions to call his office at 914-244-4450 or email him at BuchwaldD@assembly.state.ny.us.